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Chabil Utzaj, economic momentum with social responsibility

by Chaba Saturday, Oct. 01, 2011 at 1:24 PM

The reactivation of Chabil Utzaj, as a sustainable sugar project, is a great opportunity for Valle de Polochic not only because it constitutes an important pole of development for a rural area with high poverty rates in Guatemala, but also because of its respect for the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of the area, its commitment to the protection of the environment and compliance with the legal framework of the country.

Chabil Utzaj will create 2,000 jobs for local labor. Just in the first year of work, more than 16 million quetzals will be paid to the employees of the company and it is expected that this figure will reach more than 45 million quetzals per year on account of salaries that are above the legal minimum established by the Guatemalan labor laws.

In a recent documentary aired in Guatevision, small and medium entrepreneurs of Valle de Polochic expressed their satisfaction with the economic impact of the project and its multiplying effect on the economic activity, which will undoubtedly also have a significant impact as a source of employment.

Peace accord and peaceful coexistence

An example of the interest of the company and the communities to recognize that dialogue is the best way to resolve conflicts is the agreement signed last July between the representatives of 34 families of Panzós (department of Alta Verapaz) and Chabil Utzaj, which is "a victory for peace and peaceful coexistence in this region," according to the press release of the Secretariat for Agrarian Affairs.

"The signing of this agreement confirms that both sides are willing to move forward in a respectful, representative and participatory dialogue for the resolution of conflicts," said Miguel Maldonado, general manager of Chabil Utzaj.

Rigoberto Montero, representative of the National Indigenous and Peasant Coordinator (CONIC), pointed out that "because we all put a little grain of sand, we reached agreements".

"This is not a time to see ourselves as enemies, it is not a time to confront each other as if we were not Guatemalans, this is an important time where an ideology for dialogue and understanding should prevail, but, above all, it is time to demonstrate good political will," he said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary for Agrarian Affairs, Sergio Ivan Contreras, recognized the importance of the work of the National Permanent Dialogue System as a space of interlocution of the Government for coexistence in the communities.

Commitment with the community

Chabil Utzaj is already promoting and will continue to promote CSR actions, specifically in primary and technical education and development of health programs and infrastructure to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of that region, as well as specific food aid, water and sanitation initiatives.

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