- Chuachun is located three miles from the county seat of Santa Apolonia and 28 miles from the departmental (state) capital of Chimaltenango.
- The village was founded more than 100 years ago by five families.
- Now, its population is made up of 70 Maya Kaqchikel families.
- “Chuachun” means “the place of the lime” (Chua= place, Chun= lime), and it was named because there are many limestones in the area.
- The community has kindergarten and primary schools, and the closest health center is in Santa Apolonia.
- To access the village, vehicles have to pass over a wooden bridge built by the community, which needs to be replaced every two years. The municipal government has made the commitment to support them with a concrete bridge, starting its construction in May 2015. Under this bridge there is a ravine that in just a few years has grown from 2 to 6 meters deep.
- The families produce corn and beans for subsistence, and only some of them have their own land or the capacity to rent land to be used for cultivating and selling vegetables. Some of the men work in the nearby vegetable fields one or two days per week. In general, we estimate that the majority of families live on less than $2 per day.
When we began working with Chuachun in 2013, 75 percent of the community’s children under five suffered from chronic malnutrition. As of June 2015, when our projects were completed, this rate had been reduced to 50 percent.
Integrated Approach to Development
Chuachun completed our full integrated approach in June 2015. Together we implemented the following program components:
- Community Mobilization and Empowerment: February 2014 to June 2015
- Nutrition: July 2013 to June 2015. Education in nutrition has helped reduce chronic malnutrition in this community. When we started working with families in Chuachun, no babies under six months received exclusive breastfeeding. Now, 100 percent of babies are breastfed. In addition to breastfeeding, all of the babies between seven and 15 months now also have access to appropriate, nutritious solid foods, where they did not before.
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: November 2013 to May 2014
- Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): July 2013 to June 2015
- Family Planning: July 2013 to June 2015
- Disaster Risk Reduction: October 2013 to June 2015
“I have only one daughter who is two now. With the support from ABPD/ALDEA I learned exclusive breastfeeding is essential for babies, and thanks to this my daughter is growing up healthy and with no malnutrition problems as used to happen before ABPD/ALDEA came to the village. I also prepare her food now considering all the hygiene practices I have learned.”-María Cuy, 30 (March 2015)