Banasa organized the workshop “Dialogue in Action” to help leaders develop community projects.

Guatemala, January 2012. Banasa contracted the civic organization GuateAmala to impart the workshop “Dialogue in Action: A Window to See Guatemala” targeting 28 community leaders from the southwestern region of Guatemala neighboring Banasa. The purpose of the training was to instill in participants the desire to get involved in the development challenges of their communities, and to formulate community projects that would contribute to Guatemala’s development.
Participants in the workshop included Banasa staff, mayors, farmers, teachers and members of local community development councils (COCODES). The methodology used centered around dialogue, and among the topics covered were citizen rights and obligations.
During the two-day workshop participants had the opportunity to express freely their opinion about the reality they live. Among the needs identified were the low quality of education, teachers’ strikes, corruption of authorities, the general lack of values and loss of identity among youth. When asked about the kind of Guatemala they wanted to have, the response included a Guatemala with education and roads, prosperous, organized, and with skilled workers. Participants also got feedback from the group on community projects currently underway, and projects they wanted to see developed.
Workshop participant and Asociación del Trfinio Suroeste President Felino Sandoval opined that the event was very productive. “I learned a lot. We had lots of ideas about projects to start. As a result of the workshop we are planning to renovate the water pipe in my community of Valle Lirio”, he said.
GuateAmala trainer Juan Francisco Valencia said one of the objectives of the workshop was networking, to motivate more Guatemalans to get involved in the country’s development. “The opportunities for action that are presented to us are the key to meeting the challenges we have before us”, he said.