Panabajal, Comalapa

Panabajal is a village of 970 families, or approximately 6,110 people. The community was founded in 1925 by 4 families. It is located 5 miles from the municipal seat of San Juan Comalapa. The name “Panabajal” comes from the Kaqchikel “pan ab’äj jal” or “stone corn”, because in the past the area was known for having a plentiful supply of corn and the soil where it was planted is hard. Panabajal has 2 Catholic churches and 10 Evangelical churches; about 60 percent of the population is Catholic and 40 percent is Evangelical. All community members speak the Kaqchikel language, and only 505 can also speak Spanish.

The main productive activity in the village is agriculture, growing broccoli, carrots, sweet peas, potatoes and strawberries. A small percentage also works as bakers, masons, mechanics, tailors or carpenters. Some of the farmers work for big land owners and get around $7 a day.

Panabajal has 2 schools serving 1,108 children from preschool through 6th grade. The community also has a high school where 157 students attend grades 7 through 9. There is a health post in the village, run by a nurse, that offers basic medical attention Monday through Friday. 95 percent of the homes have electricity, and 85 percent of the roads are dirt.

Our Partnership:

ALDEA and ABPD began working with Panabajal families in May 2019. Our goal is to reduce chronic childhood malnutrition now, while supporting the community in building their capacity to address further development challenges on their own into the future. We are working together on:

  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: A potable water system, sanitary latrines, gray water filters, and efficient vented stoves will reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and improve indoor air quality, improving health and allowing children to make the most of the nutrients they consume.
  • Family Planning: We provide training and family planning methods so that women and men have the opportunity to decide the number and spacing of their children.
  • Community Mobilization & Empowerment: Trainings and activities with men, women, youth, and local authorities in empowerment and leadership skills.
  • Nutrition Education: Training for women, to learn how to feed their children and themselves in a healthy and nutritious way.
  • Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): Family gardens, improvement in the production of corn and beans, milk goat and adaptation of agriculture to the new climate conditions.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Identification of hazards and development of disaster risk reduction plan.

See more about how we work in our partner communities