Xiquín Sanahí is a larger community of 200 families, or about 1,240 people, located four miles north of the municipal seat of Comalapa. In the Kaqchikel language, “Xiquín Sanahí” means “by the riverbank,” because the community is bordered by a river. About 50 percent of the population speaks only Kaqchikel, and the other 50 percent speak both Kaqchikel and Spanish. Ninety percent of the community members are Catholic, and the rest are Evangelical.
Agriculture is the main productive activity in the community, especially sweet peas, broccoli, French beans, corn, and beans. Women normally weave, and some people work as nurses and policemen. Xiquín Sanahí has two schools serving 200 students from kindergarten through sixth grade. About 90 students attend 7th through 9th grade at the “telesecundaria,” an educational model in Guatemala where students learn everything through visual media, without teachers.
A health post in the community run by a nurse is open four days a week. The post does not offer medicines, just very basic medical attention and vaccines for children. Eighty percent of the roads are paved, and all the homes have electricity. About 70 percent of the families are connected to a water system that does not work well, and their water source is about to dry out.
ALDEA and ABPD began working with 55 Xiquín Sanahí families in July 2019. 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 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. Currently there is no suitable water source for this community’s new water system. Work on the other sanitation projects will begin as funds become available.
- 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 2019 with completion expected in June 2021.
- Community Mobilization & Empowerment: Trainings and activities with men, women, youth, and local authorities began in July 2019 with completion expected in June 2021.
- Nutrition Education: Trainings and activities began in July 2019 with completion expected in June 2021.
- Food Security (Sustainable Agriculture): Trainings and activities began in July 2019 with completion expected in June 2021.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: Activities will begin in February 2020 with completion expected in June 2021.