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Low self-esteem: the usual suspects

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


A big majority of Central Americans believes that their countries are going backwards.

That is the conclusion of the 2011 study by Latinobarómetro, the non-profit organization that measures public opinion in Latin America each year, whose results were published earlier this month at a press conference (in Spanish) in San José, Costa Rica.

The results are disappointing. On average, only 24 per cent of Central Americans believe that their country is making progress, compared with an average of 35 per cent in the rest of Latin America. The only country that saved Central America’s honor was Panama, where more people view the future favorably, than in any other Latin American country.

Nicaragua had a reasonable level of optimism, at 36 per cent.

Meanwhile, at the other extreme, only 7 per cent of Hondurans and 8 per cent of Guatemalans are hopeful about the future. The results in Costa Rica at 18 per cent, and El Salvador at 21 per cent, also reflect acute pessimism.

The results mean that after briefly rising to 30 per cent, self-esteem on average for Central America is back to where it was five years ago.

The main reasons are the usual suspects: too much crime, too much poverty.