For many years, the organizations in The Colectivo have partnered with each other in different ways. As a more formal network formed in 2019, The Colectivo has already generated an impressive track record of high-impact collaborations.

2021: Multicultural Leadership Pathway

Members of The Colectivo acknowledge a glaring gap between truly “local” leaders and the critical spaces where national and international decisions are often made. 2020 has highlighted both the need and value of truly local input and perspective, but there are many obstacles that continue to obscure this voice. Challenges like racism/machismo, language barriers, knowledge/experience in multicultural contexts, and “tradition” all serve to reinforce this divide. The members of The Colectivo share a belief that truly local leadership and voice is essential.

With initial support from The Summit Foundation and Move92, The Colectivo is designing and implementing a dynamic multicultural leadership pathway for emerging leaders from within our organizations. This two-year program (2021-2023) is designed to put a cohort of 16 individuals (four per organization) on a pathway towards executive and multicultural leadership positions. Some of the key features of this pathway include:

  • Intensive English language training
  • Social capital among the members of the 16-person cohort
  • Training in cross-cultural code-switching/networking
  • Verbal communication skills

2020: COVID Response

The Colectivo’s team members staffing a national COVID hotline
Photo from The Colectivo’s Radio Broadcasting Program

COVID laid bare many of Guatemala’s enormous information gaps. Rural and largely indigenous villages were severely underserved by the government’s COVID-information campaigns and programs (which were city-centric and in Spanish). In rural areas where Spanish is not often spoken, information remained largely inaccessible. 

With the support of Move92 and Partners Asia, The Colectivo leveraged its shared assets to mobilize a multifaceted COVID PSA informational campaign to, initially, reach the most vulnerable rural populations in two departments of Guatemala (Sololá and Chimaltenango). With a second grant from Move92 the campaign extended to eight more departments (Escuintla, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Suchitepéquez, and Totonicapán).  This campaign emphasized the provision of information attuned to the cultural and contextual realities of rural Guatemala and included:

  • Staffing of the national COVID hotline with multilingual nurses capable of fielding calls in three Maya dialects,
  • A large-scale radio and social media PSA campaign featuring short radio spots that kept over 2 million users in rural Guatemala up to date on the most recent COVID prevention measures, 
  • Longform radio shows highlighting the impact of COVID on The Colectivo’s four thematic areas of focus (women’s rights, girls’ education, women’s health, women’s sexual and reproductive rights), and
  • Distribution of 6,000 masks in rural villages, in partnership with Humans In Action.

2019: Needs assessment

A comprehensive 247-household community assessment among 15 rural villages around the MAIA Impact School in Sololá. In addition to assessing access to the internet, the study focused on the four thematic areas represented by The Colectivo’s member organizations: education, health/nutrition, access/awareness of women’s legal rights, and sexual/reproductive health.

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