We propose to organize and empower the young people in Rabinal and Cubulco, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America, in order they can be the supervisors to the municipal and central government to water and sanitation politics, plans, investments and developement projects regarding their communities, providing them tools like basic knowledge on the subject, legal advisory and administrative skills to do it.
participation, self sustainable systems, decentralization, social responsability, youth involvement
Guatemala is a country where two opposite cultures actually colide. Western culture and values like responsability for the future is difficult to sell in a place where the main culture is carried on looking to the past, and this is true except for the new generation. In rural Guatemala, there is this Facebook / iPad generation who can make the difference. Giving a solution to the water and sanitation problem, giving power to the young people. We propose to organize and empower the young people in Rabinal and Cubulco, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America, in order they can be the supervisors to the municipal and central government to water and sanitation politics, plans, investments and developement projects regarding their communities, providing them tools like basic knowledge on the subject, legal advisory and administrative skills to do it.
It is located in a rural town on the north-center part of the country, where 90% of the population is maya and 80% is 30 years old or younger and they are people with middle school education, and no formal jobs. In this small comunities new forms of organizations outside the traditional form of ancient traditional forms are taking place and are proving successful.
In the past the young people, the real actors were forced to leave their home land and went north, to the US. Now its is not that easy and this journey has become too dangerous and less promising, so they are taking some other chances. They have initiated some very small industries like the three wheel taxis, small pizza restaurants and others, and they have proved to ready to organize themselves, that’s why the main actors on this project are the young people.
Every year graduates more than 100 students that surely will not find a permanente job at home, but that have plenty of enthusiasm and energy besides knowledge and basic skills to be used with proper guidance, for the better use of government and municipal funds in developing projects such as the ones related to water and sanitarion.
¿why after millions invested by national and municipal governments besides international cooperation agencies in public services projects, the communities in rural Guatemala lack of basic services as water and sanitation?
The main problem is that the money that cooperation agencies donate to the country goes to the government that has proved not to use it properly, and that happens because the people is kept away of the decisions and nobody except the government officials supervise the use of this money. Giving the communities the chance to get involved in the decisions and they, specially the young keep track of it, there would be some progress.
When the people in the rural areas make themselves part of the solution, they are not part of the problem anymore. Making the people, specially the young responsible through education and empowerment there would be real democracy that have a positive impact in the long run to the country.
Keeping track of the progress of the project is relatively simple because all the young people have a cell phone and the most of them an email address.
The most interested would be the community and the national government and the municipality, if they want to make the investments with transparency and use it in the best way.
1. Look for the young people and / or the women to be in the front line.
2. give them all the information they need and proper advice and keep track of the results.
3. make a good approach first to the authorities so they can take the community involvemente without jealousy.
Not that we know.
Alianza de derecho ambiental y agua (ADA2)
tel: (502) 2277 1342
Contact person: Estuardo Noack
As this is a very new idea we don’t know of any paper on the subject.