- Chiraxaj is four miles north of the municipal seat of Santa Apolonia and is home to 65 families.
- The components of its name are “Chi,” meaning “place,” and “Raxaj,” meaning “horse tail,” so “Chiraxaj” means “place of the horsetail plants” in the Kaqchikel language.
- The village was founded in 1932.
- The primary productive activity in the village is agriculture. Corn and beans are the main crops, but they also grow potatoes, sweet peas, carrots, strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.
- There is a school in the community, with grades from pre-primary to sixth and a total of 52 children attending.
- 50 percent of the population is Catholic and 50 percent is evangelical.
- Even if accessible during the whole year, almost 100 percent of their roads are unpaved.
The community has never received support from the government or other agencies for development initiatives, and when ABPD/ALDEA started to work in Chiraxaj we found 84 percent of children under 2 suffering from chronic malnutrition. We expect to improve this situation through our intervention:
- Community Mobilization and Empowerment: In Progress (Began July 2017 with completion expected June 2019).
- Nutrition: In Progress (Began July 2017 with completion expected June 2019)
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: Complete. The potable water system, sanitary latrines, gray water filters, and efficient stoves were finished in April of 2018.
- Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): In Progress (Began July 2017 with completion expected June 2019).
- Family Planning: Provides women and men the opportunity to decide how many and when to have children. Training and family planning methods are provided to the persons interested (starting in July 2017 and ending in June 2019).
- Disaster Risk Reduction: In Progress (began in February 2018 with completion expected June 2019).
Photos by Javier Borrayo