Community Life: Quick Facts
- Xeabaj is located four miles away from the county seat of Santa Apolonia.
- The entire population is Kaqchikel and is comprised of 250 families.
- Xeabaj’s name means “under the stone.”
- The community has a kindergarten and primary school, with 180 students attending. There’s also a secondary school with 65 students.
- Xeabaj families work primarily in subsistence agriculture, and some grow vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, snow peas, cauliflower, and broccoli to sell and generate some extra income to cover their needs, with the land being rented in most cases. Some also plant fruits like apples, peaches, and plums. On the other hand approximately 20 percent of the men work as masons, drivers, or masonry assistants. Some are teachers, accountants, and mechanics. In the case of the women 50 percent are housewives and weave blouses. The rest are teachers, accountants, nurses, or secretaries.
- 30 percent of the population are Catholics and 70 percent are evangelicals.
- The road is 60 percent paved. The rest is unpaved but in normal conditions, it is passable all year round.
- Villagers have electricity and public transportation every day.
- There are no health services available at the village.
The community is suffering recurrent cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory and eyes diseases because the lack of access to basic sanitation infrastructure, affecting mostly children and women. Also, 73 percent of children under 2 years old suffer 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).
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: TBD – Potable water system, efficient cook stoves, gray water filters, and sanitary latrines to be implemented as funds become available.
- Nutrition: In Progress (Began July 2017 with completion expected June 2019)
- 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 (will begin in January 2018 with completion expected June 2019).
Photos by Javier Borrayo