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Buen vivir

The project Buen vivir, Utz K’aslemal, in the Paljunoj valley is promoted by a consortium of local and Piedmontese associations for an integrated development coordinated by the Ngo Re.Te. and of which M.A.I.S. is part with CISV and three local associations: ECAO (Equipo de Consultoria en Agricultura Organica), IDEI (Asociacion de Investigaciòn, Desarrollo y Educaciòn Integral) and FRMT (Fundaciòn Rigoberta Menchù Tum). It has a total duration of 24 months (01/02/2010 – 01/02/2012) and it is financed by CEI (Conferenza Episcopale Italiana).
The consortium promotes coordinated interventions in different sectors: from health to active citizenship, from education to technical professionals’ training, from agriculture to the commercialization of products, in order to improve the inhabitants’ life conditions, following a path that already started in the past years.

Guatemala is a country which went through an armed internal conflict that lasted 36 years and that degenerated into a real genocide between 1978 and 1983. In 1996, Guatemala started a democratic transition process, which was hindered by different reasons: strong inequality in the income distribution, being Guatemala one of the countries with the lowest welfare budgets; a high rate of illiteracy and a lack of a mass elaboration of the conflicts that have steeped the country in blood. One of the most dramatic expressions of this distress is represented by the violent behaviour against women, which is quite a diffused phenomenon but that reaches high peaks in Guatemala.

The objective is that of contributing to the integrated human development of the families in the Palajunoj Valley, carrying on health, cultural, political, educational and social actions for the protection of human rights and the K’itche’ identity. Through the planning of spaces for social gathering, meeting and exchange of experiences, the families themselves will be the protagonists of a stronger social cohesion building.


The project aims at making the inhabitants of the Palajunoj valley the leading subjects of their own development for a total of 10 communities (Candelaria, Chuicaracoj, Chucavioc, Las Majadas, Llanos del PInal, Tierra Colorada Alta, Tierra Colorada Baja, Xecaracoj, Xepache, Bella Vista).


The project aims at reaching three main goals: 

1. the families of 10 communities in the valley get a training in the health issues and carry out little preventive interventions in the health and social fields
, through the realization of:

  • 30 laboratories for mothers and babies for the use of traditional and western medicines, diet counselling, information for the prevention of babies’ infections;
  • 200 awareness visits to families, aimed at disseminating information about gender-based violence on women, with the possibility of receiving some counselling and support by those who seek for help;
  • 16 days for families’ health;
  • Health and hygiene courses

2. families carry out social commitment actions and are integrated in educational and technical training programmes, through the realization of:

  • 14 meetings for the strengthening of the Mesas Educativas of the Palajunoj Valley;
  • Courses of the Education Programme in schools and public hospitals;
  • support to the Centro Poli-funcional, so that it could increase the number of educational services and improve its administrative management.

3. families participate in the cultural and social life of the valley in a democratic way and according to equality principles, thanks to the following achievements:

  • the realization of a programme for the reconstruction of the social community network;  organisation of social gatherings, such as two ‘Family weeks’, 10 cultural white nights, one ‘Feast of youth’, one ‘Women’s day’ and a literature and arts competition with the subject of the ‘sense of local identity’;
  • the planning of moments for the exchange of experiences and 24 training and socio-political meetings addressed to community organisations.