Insecurity and violence, socio-environmental conflicts, and the institutional fragility of the state are some of the manifestations of the structural conflicts in Guatemala. Trust between the different actors and sectors that make up society has broken down. Therefore, there is no dialogue and collaboration between them and no efforts are being undertaken to transform conflict. Corruption scandals involving the highest levels of government and insufficient provision of public services have deepened the legitimacy crisis of political institutions.
However, Guatemalans are resilient and have the capacity to address social problems. With the aim of unveiling this capacity, Interpeace is implementing a pilot project in Guatemala as part of its Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) programme. The project will generate proposals through processes of Participatory Action Research that will strengthen the already existing capacities for resilience in Guatemalan society. As a first step, the participants of FAR defined how they understand resilience. They see resilience as the capacity of individuals, groups, communities or societies to confront adverse situations in which their interests are affected and develop sustainable alternatives that allow them transform conflict.
The project is focused on identifying Guatemalan’s capacities to transform not only structural but also immediate conflict in non-violent and collaborative ways. By doing this it aims to find alternative solutions to tackle institutional fragility and improve social cohesion.
The project brings together in a working group representatives from different sectors of society such as rural farmers, indigenous people, academics, entrepreneurs, members of the political realm and more. The working group aims to find solutions by emphasizing society’s existing capacities and actions for positive change.