Located 11 miles from the municipal seat in the northern part of Tecpán, Xecoxol was founded around 1920 and is home to 415 families. The name “Xecoxol” means “under the elf’s house,” in the Kaqchikel language – an ancient legend says an elf guided people through the mountains and disappeared under a rock. About 80 percent of the families living there are Catholics and 20 percent are Evangelicals.
Agriculture is the main productive activity in Xecoxol, particularly corn and beans but also coffee and vegetables like broccoli, sweet peas, and French beans. Some men in the community work at larger farms for about $6 per day. The village has a health post offering basic medical services twice per week. Electric service reaches 90 percent of households, and public transportation is available consistently because they are near a main road. The roads in Xecoxol are mostly dirt, with only about 200 meters being paved, but they are passable all year.
Xecoxol has never received support from the government or other agencies for development initiatives. ALDEA and ABPD began working with 40 Xecoxol families in July 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 July 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Community Mobilization & Empowerment: Trainings and activities began in July 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Nutrition Education: Trainings and activities began in July 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): Trainings and activities began in July 2018 with completion expected in June 2020.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: Activities will begin in February 2019 with completion expected in June 2020.