Healthy Habits is a new program underwritten by the World Diabetes Foundation in Denmark.
The project aims to establish a culture of chronic disease primary prevention in the department of Sololá, where Santiago Atitlán is located. It will expand awareness of preventative care by educating women community leaders to become agents of change — promoting healthy lifestyle choices in their families and communities — to reduce the risks of type II diabetes and hypertension.
Healthy Habits will run from January 2021 to December 2022.
- Producing and distributing 6,000 illustrated booklets on nutrition, physical activity, hygiene, and diabetes management in three Maya languages (K’iche’, Kaqchikel, and Tzutujil) and Spanish.
- Training 210 indigenous women who are village leaders — traditional birth attendants, school directors, teachers, cooks, and church leaders — to learn and model primary prevention methods for reducing chronic disease risk.
- Offering support to 75 women school leaders to help them comply with existing laws prohibiting unhealthy foods in schools
- Facilitating peer-to-peer training of 1,050 people.
- Planting 300 new family gardens, including providing instruction guidelines and seeds.
- Improving access to physical activities to 6,000 individuals.
Program coordinator: Felipa Archila Julajuj
Felipa is an auxiliary nurse and community health educator, with experience working on a chronic disease program with the University of Virginia and a Rotary sponsored bio-sand water filter project. She is from the town of San Lucas Tolimán.