Creative Chats

Gender-based violence and COVID-19 in Guatemala’s Western Highlands


In an ongoing series of informal discussions between Creative’s experts and field staff, Chief of Party Sara Barker of the USAID-funded Guatemala Peacebuilding Project and gender specialist Rebecca Sewall discuss COVID-19’s impact on women in rural communities. Covering the rise in cases of domestic abuse to the role of indigenous authorities in promoting social cohesion, Barker highlights how the pandemic has given the project an even greater role in addressing one of the country’s most pressing issues.

This installment also features the voices of several indigenous women who were recorded in panels hosted by the Peacebuilding Project.

About the Project

The Peacebuilding Project, known as Proyecto Tejiendo Paz in Spanish, will work in 130 communities in the Western Highland departments of Huehuetenago, Quiché, San Marcos and Totonicapán to support peace initiatives.

The five-year project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and is implemented by Creative Associates International with partners Fundación ProPaz and PartnersGlobal.

Proyecto Tejiendo Paz will focus on conflict dynamics as they pertain to gender, youth and families, governance, land, and natural resources.

With support from project-trained conflict mediators and community facilitators, these communities will engage councils of elders, healers, women’s groups, youth organizations and other key players to identify causes of these types of conflict, carry out action plans to mitigate them and resolve existing disputes.

Communities will develop their own “community vision,” with input from focus groups and larger public forums and inclusive of often-marginalized groups like women and youth. These long-term action plans provide a road map for communities to build resilience and address conflict using a combination of existing community assets and new tools and ideas relevant to their needs and context.

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