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Health, Family and Environment Programs

The greatest resource in Chocolá is its people. Yet their ability to plan for and achieve progress is crushed at every turn by intense poverty and the day-to-day struggle to feed their families. Unemployment in the community approaches 60%. Although Chocolá farmers are skilled and productive, they are at the bottom of the vicious system of “coyote” produce buyers who pay them little for their products. Most children in Chocolá have no opportunity to achieve more than a sixth-grade education. Teachers are so underpaid they often do not show up to the classroom. Water supplies are inadequate, undependable and unclean. Sewage disposal is unsanitary, and the community has an electrical supply only a few hours each day.

These problems can and will be overcome with your help, and solving them is fundamental to creating an environment in which the people of Chocolá can engage in positive thinking and growth. Today, they can only think about survival.

Our Health and Family Programs initiatives support demonstrated community needs and sustainable programs in the fields of education, health delivery systems, leadership training and working with local and national officials to bring needed infrastructure improvements to the community (roads, sewers and electricity). We also support the Casa de Cultura initiative designed to instill understanding of history and to bring programs teaching traditional Maya culture to young people.

We are currently working in several main categories:

Health Clinic

The family and women’s health clinic is the current flagship health program to help both provide needed medical services to people but as well to educate the community on disease prevention, nutrition and health maintenance. The clinic itself will be organized under the direction of Dr. Peter Rohloff who is dedicated to providing medical services to Maya people in this region and in local tongues such as  Kaqchikel and K’iche and Spanish. 

Clean water and Sanitation

We are also searching for partners who can help the community secure a more reliable and clean water supply as well as sanitary disposal of solid and liquid wastes generated by the community. Currently, the rivers are used as waste disposal systems and water supply is limited. The black water of sewage runs in open channels through community neighborhoods. Potable water is available only a few hours each day and in some neighborhoods, no fresh water supply is currently available.

Pollution Sites

An agreement was recently truck with the community farm cooperative to begin the clean up of industrial pollution site that is bleeding into the Chocolá River. The source of the contamination  is rotting waste coffee hulls from the coffee “beneficio” processing plant. When complete, the waste will be transported via slurry line to a processing plant and then converted into organic fertilizer which in turn will either be sold or used on local farms.

River Clean Up

Rivers and streams throughout Guatemala are used as dumping grounds for community, industrial and agricultural waste. Chocolá is historically no different but beginning in November planning will be initiated to identify the scope of this problem, possible solutions and needed resources. It is hoped that Chocolá can become a model community to demonstrate how clean up can be accomplished. 

 

 


Dona Maria Neighbor


Don Fidel Vasquez & Son


Health Care Clinic
 Near San Antonio


Trash In Rio Chocolá