It's official! BPD is now ALDEA. This new name, which means "village" in Spanish, represents not only where we work but also how we work to Advance Local Development through Empowerment and Action. The original Behrhorst philosophy continues to serve as the basis of our institutional mission and vision as we advance our work with rural Maya communities to improve health through collaborative and integrated development programs. Our new website is coming soon, so please check back with this page frequently!
"The point of [our work] is to seek measures that create and activate a community, rather than leave it passive and waiting. Real change requires patience and commitment."
- Dr. Carroll Behrhorst
Our integrated approach:
Encouraging breastfeeding and the timely introduction of appropriate weaning foods
Helping families to start home gardens and raise goats for milk to diversify the traditional local diet of corn and beans with animal protein, vegetables, and grains
Assisting communities to build potable water systems that bring clean, running water to every home, reducing exposure to water-borne illnesses
Installing more efficient cook-stoves that use less firewood and reduce the indoor air pollution that causes respiratory problems and other illnesses
Building vented latrines and training communities on hygiene and sanitation
Increasing access to information about family planning and providing family planning methods
Empowering women to actively participate in community and household decision-making about community infrastructure, food production, and child care
Empowering young people to become change agents and emerging leaders in their communities
We organize our work around one overarching objective: to reduce chronic childhood malnutrition in Mayan communities. The cornerstone of our programs is empowerment. We build the leadership and problem-solving skills of women, men, and youth to address both the dietary and environmental root causes of childhood malnutrition. We focus on preventing malnutrition from occurring in the first place by emphasizing good nutrition during the first 1000 days – the short window of opportunity that includes pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life. Helping communities provide good nutrition and a heathy environment during this critical window of opportunity provides a lifetime of lasting benefits to children.