Strengthening Democratic Participation of Maya Communities in Rural Guatemala

Grantee: Asociacion Probienestar en Accion - Saaq Ach'oool Nimla Kaleb'aal

The project’s goal was to increase the recognition of traditional authorities and women of the Indigenous Communities of northern Alta Verapaz and their participation in decision-making processes and administration of justice. The grantee targeted groups who have historically lacked opportunity to participate in the decision-making at the local and national level, including leaders from the 33 indigenous communities officially recognized by the municipalities of Chisec and Raxruhá in northern Alta Verapaz, and the Maya women´s groups belonging to the Association of Organized Q´eqchi’ (AQT) in Chisec.

The overall objective of the project was to promote the recognition of indigenous groups. In practice, the project established conditions for inclusive urban and rural development council systems, encouraging indigenous peoples and women in particular, to voice their concerns and get involved in decision making processes. This approach filled a gap in the existing consultation mechanisms and conveyed the needs of communities to the authorities in charge of the design of local development projects.