Thousands of teachers protested on the streets of Guatemala City on Thursday demanding more funds for education. The teachers say that 35% of the budget should be spent on education - at present the figure is 16%. As well as demanding a pay increase, the teachers are also calling for money for school supplies and school meals. The leader of STEG, one of the teaching unions calling the protest, said, "We don't want there to be schools without programs or students without food."

Teachers in Guatemala earn $440 a month on average, although many are on temporary contracts and earn only half that amount. This is not the first time that Guatemalan teachers have had to take action in order to try to secure more money for education. They struck in 2008 and again in 2010. Last year student teachers engaged in mass protests against the creeping privatisation of education in the country, as well as attempts to cut low income and indigenous young people out of teacher training, by raising the amount of time and money needed to complete the course.

The teacher's unions have not ruled out strike action on this occasion if their demands are not met.