Adopte un Kilómetro!
by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian.
At the end of a year in the late 1990s La Antigua Guatemala was full of street trash and potholes, and many of us complained to the mayor. Victor Hugo del Pozo kindly advised that the city had no funds. We sent a “spy” over to the treasury to, indeed, find that the meager budget in those days had run out for that year. The private sector has always been VERY active in the city – whether through civic committees like Salvemos Antigua or “fiesta committees” and education programs. At that time Fundación para la Conservación de La Antigua Guatemala, founded in 1986, took the lead and set up a clean-up committee with paid workers. Many of us contributed with small and large donations to keep Antigua clean with its campaign “Pasemos a La Antigua en Limpio.”
During the last administration, the city began to do a much better job as Mayor Vivar increased the municipal work force from 400 to about 1,000 employees. Fundantigua began working on the road to Guatemala City – Ruta del Orgullo – in July 2007, and today it IS one of the nicest roads in Guatemala! After planting more than 700,000 plants (and counting), today we have 32 full-time workers, one water truck, two garbage trucks and take pride in the project. We clean the road beginning in Antigua and continuing through Magdalena Milpas Altas, Santa Lucía Milpas Altas, San Lucas and Mixco. Meager budget? Don’t think so with Q2.6 million budgeted for this year.
“Adopte un kilómetro” was set up for corporate Guatemala to contribute, and some of us contribute with smaller donations. We appreciate the contributions from the mayors of San Lucas and Mixco and through local companies where guests may add a contribution to their bill. Contact the project at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo/tel: 7820-1220.