Inside Guatemala’s Drug Rehab Centers

A spike in the use of crack cocaine has contributed to the proliferation of drug rehabilitation centers in Guatemala City, often run by Pentecostal Christians. Largely unregulated, these centers now dot the Guatemalan landscape, warehousing users against their will—all in the name of rehabilitation, security, and redemption.

Professor Kevin Lewis O’Neill and Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela have been conducting ethnographic research to document the lives in and around these centers. Through a powerful photo series, they offer an unprecedented look inside these often overlooked institutions by highlighting the human experience at the intersection of drug use, Christianity, and rehabilitation.


  • Dr. Kevin Lewis O’Neill is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. For the last fifteen years, his research has addressed the politics of Christianity in Guatemala, namely its relationship to democracy, drugs, and security. He received his PhD in cultural and social anthropology from Stanford University.
  • Benjamin Fogarty-Valenzuela is a PhD student at the Princeton University Department of Anthropology. A Guatemalan national, he currently researches drugs and security in Brazil and Guatemala.
Date: May 28, 2014
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.
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