All of the work we do in Guatemala is planned and managed by a local team. This is both an organizational necessity as well as a way to help implement long term change.
It is a necessity because we need local people to identify needs and supervise our projects. Many donors make a mistake by coming in and mandating a plan of action without consulting local people. These plans almost always fail. Local villagers know the true needs and culture of their communities. By including them in the planning and implementation of projects, we assure a higher rate of success.
But the greatest benefit to developing a local team is in the long term. The people of Guatemala have suffered the effects of corruption and neglect for countless years. They often are afraid or don’t know how to fight back. They can lack the skills and education necessary to organize.
Our team in Guatemala had never managed projects, people, or budgets before. They had never requested meetings with government officials. But as time went on, they learned, with experience and our guidance. As the map on the following page can attest, they have now successfully overseen a large number of projects.
As a result, they have become leaders in their communities. Leaders from other villages now call them when they need help or guidance. They share their experiences with others and help teach them how to make change in their communities.
This type of thing rarely makes headlines, but it is the type of work that will help change Guatemala in the long term. And your support is helping to make a difference.