Located in the northern part of Tecpán, Palamá is a relatively large community with a population of 1,752 people. It was founded in 1908 and is located 11 miles from the municipal seat. The name “Palamá” means “hilamo tree place,” after a type of tree that is common in the Chimaltenango area. About 70 percent of the families living there are Catholics, 20 percent are Evangelicals, and the rest profess the Mayan religion.
Agriculture is the main productive activity in Palamá, where they grow corn, beans, apples, peaches, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, and carrots. Men in the community used to work at large farms for about $7 per day. Palamá has a health post offering basic medical services and vaccines, as well as a community school attended by 467 children at the pre-school and primary levels. Electric service reaches 80 percent of households; the remaining 20 percent have to use candles. The community’s roads are mainly dirt, with only 10 percent being paved, but they are passable all year.
Palamá has rarely received support from the government or other agencies for development initiatives. ALDEA and ABPD began working with 92 Palamá families in August 2018. Our goal is to reduce chronic childhood malnutrition now, while supporting the community in building their capacity to address further development challenges on their own into the future. We are working together on:
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: A potable water system, sanitary latrines, gray water filters, and efficient vented stoves will be installed as funding becomes available. These will reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and improve indoor air quality, improving health and allowing children to make the most of the nutrients they consume.
- Family Planning: We provide training and family planning methods so that women and men have the opportunity to decide the number and spacing of their children. Work began in August 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Community Mobilization & Empowerment: Trainings and activities began in August 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Nutrition Education: Trainings and activities began in August 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): Trainings and activities began in August 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: Activities will begin in February 2019 with completion expected in June 2020.