Pachalum, Quiché was selected as the winner of the One Planet City Challenge in Guatemala for the 2017-2018 edition. The announcement was publicly made known in Guatemala City to representatives from other municipalities and key stakeholders on the subject of sustainable cities. This is the first time in which the country participates in the challenge, with four Guatemalan municipalities. In this event the mobile app “Reto Ciudadano” developed by WWF Guatemala / Mesoamerica to promote responsible consumption habits was also presented.
Besides Pachalum in Guatemala other three cities participated: Antigua Guatemala, Villa Nueva and Guatemala City. The latter received the highest number of citizen votes in the We Love Cities Campaign for Guatemala promoted jointly with WWF.
Located in the department of Quiché, Pachalum is located some 23 mi (or 37 km) North-West of Guatemala City, the country's capital city. The city has an 86% of mestizo population and a high rate of migrants who generate income for their families who have stayed in Pachalum. This reality is evident with the multi-level home constructions that can be seen in the urban center, people who have changed walking to motorcycle transportation and a majority of youngsters who have a mobile phone and internet connectivity, among other peculiarities.
As a first measure in their road towards sustainability, Pachalum decided to develop an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. By doing so, they became part of a very low percentage of cities in Guatemala who have conducted this tool. This is a highly valuable differentiating element that distinguishes them among other cities which are also looking to become more sustainable.
They identified solutions that could be carried out to reduce emissions and thus, they began to implement several projects in areas like solid wastes, energy -including mobility- water and sewage.