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other psychosocial programs in Guatemala. When dealing with communities where there is mistrust, envy and divisions exist, it is necessary to carry out programs that minimize tendencies of destroying a sense of community. Programs should enhance the building of community both in terms of actual physical construction and in the creation of a spirit of community. Programs should be available to as many members of the community as possible and not “label” certain groups and thereby marginalize them, for example, widows and orphans. Programs should also be based on activities that relate to cultural values and norms and that respect people’s rejection as well as acceptance of those traditions, values, and norms considered as indigenous. Programs need to be flexible, varied, and sensitive to needs according to aspects such as the particular ethnic group and village with its own particular history as defined by the people themselves. Most important is, however, that there should be a systemic change of the sociopolitical structure in Guatemala so that the violence, oppression, and impunity of communities is stopped. In the absence of such changes, the application of programs that foster the rehabilitation of mental health might have limited and temporary effects as children continue to live in insecure environments with the knowledge that basic human rights are not respected.



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