AgroAmerica, a banana and vegetable oil producer, together with Civil Society, local governments and the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction -CONRED-, carried out the second phase of the formation of local coordinators for disaster reduction– COLRED- in the southwestern, three department zone of Guatemala, where three departments: Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango and San Marcos meet.

The goal of this effort is to strengthen local capacity to carry out appropriate actions before, during and after a natural disaster. The formation of a COLRED unit in each community allows it to organize and take prevention measures, response and recovery when faced with a natural disaster.

“We women take time for our training because it is good to learn to be prepared for a disaster or an emergency,” said the COCODE Development Council vocal of San Luis, Coatepeque.

The training was attended by over 70 people, including AgroAmerica’s workers and community leaders from La Blanca, San Marcos; Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango; and Morenas, Madronales, Salinas I and II, Colonia Barillas, Palmar II, Chiquirines, Carrizales, Los Encuentros, Santa Fe, San Luis, El Pomal, Valle Lirio and La Blanquita, Retalhuleu.

Four sessions were held during the second phase, where issues such as territorial diagnosis, risk reduction management, needs analysis, climate change, COLRED Commissions (evacuation, rescue, shelter, health, safety and coordination) and local response plans were strengthened.

The third phase will consist in handing out accreditations as official COLRED members, endorsed and authorized by CONRED.

Bernhard Roehrs, AgroAmerica’s CEO said, “The Company has partnerships with Civil Society and governments to coordinate efforts and work together to achieve common goals for the benefit of the communities.”