Running Through ALDEA’s Work

On November 29, ABPD’s Executive Director Paco Enríquez and ABPD staff challenged themselves to travel by foot, bike, and car through all the municipalities where ALDEA and ABPD have partnered with communities since 2006, not an easy feat by any measure! Their challenge to ALDEA supporters: help raise $48,000 to be matched by our Boards and Advisors.

The big news: you did it! Thanks to your work, you exceeded the goal and raised $49,088, all of which will be matched! That’s a total of $98,176, all due to your support!

Want to tag along on the ABPD team’s trek? Take a look below to follow along as they progress through each municipality:

We hope you had your coffee this morning! The team is ready to go bright and early at 4:00 a.m.. Their journey of over 30 miles will take them through all kinds of terrain, beginning high in the mountains of Patzún, where the average elevation is over 7,000 feet above sea level!

Didn’t get around to having that coffee yet? Well you can certainly find some here. The municipality’s high elevation provides the perfect conditions for coffee production, which the area is well known for.

Click here to learn more about Patzún and read about the work that ALDEA & ABPD did with the 34 communities we partnered with in the municipality from 2006 to 2017.

Next stop: Tecpán!

The steam coming off of APBD Executive Director Paco Enriquez is proof that the municipality’s reputation for being a little chilly is well deserved. Tecpán served as the first capital of Guatemala and is home to the ruins of the Mayan city of Iximché, the capital of the Kaqchikel in pre-columbian times.

We began partnering with communities in the municipality in 2017 and have worked with a total of 12 to-date. Want to learn more about the municipality and our partner communities? Click here to see pictures of our projects and read about how we are supporting communities in the municipality to mobilize, empower their populations, and secure prosperous futures.

Tired yet? Well Paco tells us that we are about 20% of the way through our trek. Take a moment to drink some water and tighten up your running shoes, then let’s keep going!

We are now two hours in and coming up on the municipality of Santa Apolonia. This is a smaller municipality with only 18,540 inhabitants in 17 villages and 18 smaller communities. While small in size Santa Apolonia is rich in tradition and is well known for the earthenware pottery produced here.

As you can see in the video to the left, we are running through the community of Chiquex. We worked in this community from 2016 to 2018 as a part of ABPD integrated health program. Chiquex means “give change” in Kaqchikel. As the story goes, the community was named after an individual in the area whose job was to make change for people passing through who only had large denominations of currency, exchanging big bills for small bills and coins. Pretty interesting, eh? Click here to read more about the 18 communities we partnered with in Santa Apolonia, the stories behind their names, and see the results of the work ALDEA and ABPD carried out here between 2013 to 2019.

Now that the sun’s up, let’s keep moving before the heat of the day sets in!

Welcome to San Juan Comalapa or “the Florence of the Americas” as it’s known to many.

We began working in Comalapa in 2019 and currently partner with 8 communities in the municipality. As a part of our integrated program we support communities with infrastructure projects and small-scale economic development, work with local farmers to strengthen food security, inform community members of their rights, provide skills and leadership training, and work closely with community members via ABPD staff and local Community Health Promoters to educate families about nutrition. All of these aspects of our program work in unison to support our partner communities to combat chronic malnutrition and build the foundations for strong, empowered communities.

Want to know why Comalapa is called “the Florence of the Americas”? Want to read about how we carry out our work and see our impact? Click here to learn about the municipality and the we work do with our partner communities.

At last, the finish line!

The team’s journey of more than 30 miles ends in San Martín Jilotepeque. We are tired and sweaty, but it was well worth the effort. Victory is sweet, as sweet as the sugar cane produced here. I bet we can find something to dry the sweat on our foreheads in this municipality known for cotton textile production. Did we mention that this area is of particular economic significance, both in pre-columbian times and today? Click here to learn more about the municipality, what goods are produced here, and read about the communities we partnered with in San Martín Jilotepeque when we worked in the area from 2001-2011.

We are proud of our partnership with ABPD and their amazing team that works tirelessly to support communities in Guatemala’s Chimaltenango department to mobilize and secure better futures for their families and neighbors. We are also tremendously grateful to YOU, our donors! You make the work we do possible and your contributions change lives. Thank you for joining us on this trek and for helping us raise $49,088 of funds that will be matched dollar-for-dollar for a total of $$98,176! Catch your breath, drink some water, and relax. We’ll see you next year!

Weren’t able to donate in time for Giving Tuesday? No problem, you can still make a donation online here.