Paquixic, one of our partner community in the municipality of San Juan Comalapa, is a prime example of our comprehensive approach to development. The goal of our programs is to support our partners in cultivating healthy, empowered communities that are able to lead the way to more prosperous futures. We work towards this goal via programs that target the root causes of a challenge facing all of our partner communities: chronic childhood malnutrition. Where necessary, we support the construction of potable water systems to reduce the risk of contracting illnesses that can lead to or worsen malnutrition. In Paquixic, we have delivered supplies to build cook stoves that use little firewood and that have smokestacks included in the design so that families can consume less fuel, spend less time collecting firewood, and reduce instances of respiratory illnesses that can take a significant toll on a family’s health. We have also facilitated the construction of latrines in the community to improve sanitation infrastructure and further decrease the risk of infection with gastrointestinal illnesses correlated with malnutrition.
ABPD staff lead workshops with the women and youth of the community on a range of topics from family planning, to rights, empowerment, and leadership to build community capacity to advocate for themselves, collaborate effectively, and tackle problems impeding development together. In Paquixic, one of the results this program has yielded is the formation of a business raising cattle proposed and carried out by youth participants in our programs. This venture will not only create a new source of income for families to help them meet nutritional and other needs, but will also provide leadership and management experience vital to the development of the community over time. In addition to these workshops, when ABPD begins working in a community, the men decide what kind of technical training they would like to receive, and ABPD provides a specialist in the subject matter as well as the materials necessary for the training. At the same time, these men are trained to be more inclusive leaders in their communities. The aim of this aspect of our programming is to support the diversification of potential sources of income that can ensure that families can access the healthy foods, reducing instances of malnutrition, and to advocate for an inclusive environment where women, men, and youth can participate in decision-making processes and build resilient, empowered communities that flourish.