Adapting Methodologies to New Contexts

COVID-19 has had a major impact on rural communities across Guatemala and our partner communities are no exception. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health and economic crisis that it provoked in Guatemala, ALDEA and ABPD put in place strict health and safety protocols that staff have been following since the early days of the pandemic to protect both our partner communities and our staff. Aside from masking, social distancing, having to temporarily halt in-person programming on more than one occasion due to skyrocketing case numbers, weekly COVID-19 testing for staff, and the requirement that all masons working on infrastructure projects be vaccinated, we also decided to incorporate the use of heavy machinery. This decision was made to reduce the number of individuals working in close proximity to each other on construction sites, while also ensuring that projects continue at a reasonable pace. Our potable water project in Chijacinto, Tecpán, is an excellent example of the implementation of this strategy. Thanks to excavators used on this project, we are closing in on the completion of the water system and the provision of clean, drinkable water to community members pumped directly to their homes. ALDEA strives to be a responsive organization that values self-reflection and isn’t afraid to make changes to our approach so that our programs are the most effective, appropriate, and ethical as possible.