Upon invitation by UNICEF, Nicoletta Armstrong visited Guatemala in 2006 to give informative talks and workshops to representatives from several networks, including Creciendo Bien, social services, education, health, Plan and a local university
As a result, ICDP, UNICEF, the office of the First Lady and Plan, started to cooperate on an ICDP project. There were six training workshop for 90 agents linked to Plan, SOSEP, Secretariat for social protection, the Institute for Social Security and SOS Guatemala. These workshops were held during 2007.
Training continued in 2008 with another six workshops; ICDP consultants from abroad went on several field visits to Jalapa and Solola provinces, to observe the trained facilitators in action while delivering ICDP courses for parents.
The evaluation of these first projects carried out in Guatemala showed promising results.
One interviewed father said: “I am going to a very important meeting, it is about a programme where I have experienced something I never had as a child: to be appreciated only because I am a person; this is what we need in our community and these guidelines in the booklet I received need to reach not only families and children but also the elderly in our community as they need it just as much. “
In 2008, Nicoletta Armstrong presented ICDP at the Second National Conference on Early Childhood, ENPI II. The conference formulated an Action Plan which was accepted as future national policy for children, and was signed by the President on the last day. After the conference an ICDP refresher and evaluative workshop was held for agents from Plan, Secretaria de Bienestar Social, SOSEP, Fundazucar and several NGOs, who have been implementing ICDP in the poorest communities around the country.
By then, the facilitators from Plan trained 70 groups in 23 communities; they declared in their report: “We are very motivated as in ICDP we found the answer to many problems we are dealing with, such as dysfunctional families, violence, inadequate education.”
2009-2010: ICDP trained agents from Fundazúcar applied the ICDP program in 4 departments, reaching 3700 families and 5516 children. They included ICDP as part of their own project called “Mejores familias”.
Plan integrated ICDP into their child protection program and used it in over 100 communities in five departments of the country.
The ICDP principles for good interaction were used by some of the communities in their campaigns for peace.
One of the challenges was to find ways of reaching the most abusive families, who out of fear of being reported had not joined the ICDP courses.
In 2010, the Guatemala City government requested ICDP training to be given to all kindergarten staff in the city of Guatemala. The training was carried out by Julio Martinez.
During 2011, training in ICDP was given to 400 teachers in the municipality of Carchá, in the department of Alta Verapaz. An ICDP parents’ network meeting took place in May and 454 fathers and mothers from the region of UP Salamá, Guatemala met to exchange their ICDP experiences.
ICDP was broadcast on TV, in 7 municipalities, and the show was called Children’s Viewpoint. It went on air on Tuesdays for twelve consecutive weeks and it was presented by ICDP trainer Julio Martinez. Each programme covered one ICDP topic. The show was so successful that it was broadcast twice. It allowed for callers to comment and share their own personal stories; it involved 2000 families.
2012 – 2013: ICDP Guatemala was established, with Julio Martinez as its leader. The main strategic partners of ICDP Guatemala are Plan Guatemala, Plan Salamá and the SHARE foundation.
ICDP training in 2012 reached 1000 families in Salamá. The work then expanded to Antigua, Santa Cruz
del Quiché and Quetzaltenango.
ICDP training was also given to the staff, mothers and “aunts” from the SOS villages in San Jerónimo and
The ICDP activities by the SHARE foundation reached 2000 children.
In 2013, ICDP training in cooperation with Plan started to take place in 86 communities of Baja Verapz. The plan is to reach 1720 families.
ICDP reached 24 000 children in Guatemala by the end of 2013.
Since 2016 and ongoing, Julio Martinez has been giving ICDP training to students at the university (Universidad de San Carlos) as part of a course in neuroscience. He runs the Neuroscience and Educationcourse course for students and in that course he has included the ICDP methodology. After attending the ICDP course, each student has to apply the ICDP programme in practice by working with a group comprised of 5 families.
In addition to his work at university and upon invitation from school education supervisors, Julio has also been giving training in ICDP to primary school teachers.
Julio also started the process of negotiating a new project with Campasión (Campassion) International (https://www.compassion.com/) – an organization that works through partnerships with thousands of local churches in 25 countries around the world. The new project aims to scale up the implementation of ICDP in the country and plans to roll out the ICDP programme to 20 000 families, starting in 2021.