140 families live in the remote community of Concepción Actelá, Guatemala, in the region of Alta Verapaz, Polochic. Right now World Renew's partner ADIP is at the very beginning of working with 30 of the families. The road ahead looks extremely challenging. Water is only available from the creek. Many men leave the community to work in the sugar plantations, or as security guards in Guatemala city. The women are left behind to farm and to raise the children. The effects of climate change mean that harvests are unreliable. Roads are in poor condition, and illnesses - like diarrhea, fever, dysentry, malnourishment, gastritis - persist.
Through Association for the Integral Development (ADIP), World Renew will be implementing programs in Preventative Health (with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health), Sustainable Agriculture, and Literacy over the next several years.
Read "Knocked Sideways" for a yet deeper understanding of Concepción Actelá's very real needs. Sean Hawkey, the photojournalist who ventured out to the community with World Renew bridger Davinsky de Leon, writes: "Over several days, every house we visited offered us food and drink, and every bite and every drop was the result of the sort of hard work we are unfamiliar with."
Stefanie is the granddaughter of Cristobal Coc
Stefanie's mother Santos has a small pharmacy in the village.
Concepción Actelá, Alta Verapaz, Polochic region
topography of Concepción Actelá
World Renew’s community development process brings about full participation to identify and work through the community's challenges.
At the same time, our staff and partners work towards change at the deepest human level – at the level of a community’s vision, values, habits and worldview. This kind of change, though not always visible on the surface, is what is needed to sustain the progress they have made and help them truly flourish as God’s handiwork.
In such communities:
People gather to shape their future together
People work together on community projects that improve the quality of life of all members of the community
Everyone’s gifts and talents are welcomed and put to use
Leaders are identified, developed, and affirmed
On-going learning leads to awareness, understanding, and improved lives
Justice prevails and laws protect
Civic life is active
Mercy is generous and flowing
Christians work alongside other members of the community to achieve change, instilling all they do with biblical values and faith