Historically a predominantly agricultural community, Santa Cruz faced challenges expanding its economy due to the rugged terrain and isolated location. Unlike other Guatemalan communities, this isolation, together with a strong sense of community, has limited the outflow of young men seeking work outside the community. In addition to occasional manual labor and selling handicrafts, tourism to Lake Atitlán has created work opportunities in local hotels, restaurants and expat homes. Despite this growth, the Santa Cruz community continues to suffer from high unemployment, low wages and wide gender disparities. Amigos invests in the local economy by developing small businesses and creating professional opportunities for young Cruceños.