Alliance for Rural Inclusion


Trickle Up’s long history of working with people with disabilities in Central America has led to a project that combines the Graduation Approach with Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR). Reaching more than half a million people worldwide, CBR is the most prominent approach utilized by disability-focused institutions to promote the integration of people with disabilities.


Through a partnership with the municipal government and FundaLachuá, a local non-governmental organization, this project is Trickle Up’s first to specifically target children with disabilities and their families in this region. Through our community-based partnerships, we are providing health, education, and social services to 100 children with disabilities while simultaneously increasing the economic capacity of their families through increased savings and income. The project’s participants are from rural, indigenous communities in Guatemala, where extreme poverty and malnutrition rates are very high. In these areas, people with disabilities confront significant barriers to full and productive participation in community life.


The Graduation Approach provides a proven economic development approach to complement CBR and help people with disabilities overcome extreme poverty. Trickle Up aims to leverage this project to build the awareness and capacity of the Guatemalan national disability office to replicate and scale this approach across the country.


Project Objectives

  • Provide necessary health and education social services for 100 children with disabilities and simultaneously increase the economic capacity of their families so they can continue investing in their children’s futures.
  • Increase the participation of children with disabilities in their families, schools, and community activities.
  • Increase the incomes and savings of families affected by a disability to reinforce the economic capacity of the households.

Project Data

Baseline Data

  • 35% have a physical disability, 15% auditory disability, 14% intellectual disability, 13% multiple disabilities, 8% visual disability, and 9% have other types of disabilities (difficulty speaking, etc.)
  • 30% have mild disabilities, 42% moderate, 23% grave, and 5% severe.
  • On average, participant households have 7 members.
  • 83% of the participant caretakers are women and are 34 years old on average.
  • 64% of children with disabilities in the project are boys, between 0 and 14 years old. 19% know how to read and write, and just 36% of the children are attending school.


Midline Data

  • 99% of participant families now have household gardens, increasing food security.
  • 95% of households cultivate at least 5 different types of crops today, increasing diet diversity.
  • Participants’ average working capital for their productive activities is $250.
  • 18 local partners, municipalities, government institutions, and teachers trained on the inclusion of people with disabilities through the project.


Endline Data

  • By endline, 73% of households experienced a decrease in incidences of hunger. Only 33% reported moderate hunger (sometimes being without food) at endline, compared to 95% at baseline. No participants experienced severe hunger throughout the program.
  • 72% eat more meat than they did before the project. Between the second baseline and the final data, the percentage of participants who eat meat weekly increased from 19% to 67%, and those who eat meat biweekly increased from 65% to 78%.
  • 57% of children with disabilities are in school, a 50% increase from baseline when just 38% were in school.
  • 20% of children with disabilities benefited from healthcare as a result of project activities, including treatment, surgery, examinations, consultations, or supportive devices.
  • 51% of children with disabilities were more visible in their communities, and increased their self-esteem. 76% of children with disabilities report increased independence.
  • Participants at the end of the project had increased the total initial seed capital investment of $16,368 (Q120,000) to nearly $28,000 (Q205,095) of working capital and savings ($21,874 Q160,370 and $6,100 Q44,725 respectively). This additional $11,600 (Q85,095) represents an 71% increase over the initial investment.
  • 67% of participants used their seed capital to raise and sell livestock. 17% of participants started a shop, 10% grew crops, and 10% bought and sold commercial items, and 3% began other types of businesses.
  • At the end of the project, 52% increased their working capital by at least 10% compared to the beginning. 50% have at least $180 (Q1,320) in working capital and 57% have at least the value of the initial seed capital $164 (Q1,200). One participant even had $1,625 (Q11,560) in working capital!
  • Of the 62 participants who joined savings groups, 86% have continued or intend to continue in the second cycle of the savings group.
  • 65% of households increased the number of poultry they own, with 91% of participants owning poultry.
  • 49% of participants cultivate more corn than before.
  • 64% of participants have achieved at least 3 of 5 criteria for Graduation.

For more information about this project, see the project brief.

Ixcán, Quiché, Guatemala

Start Date: 9/1/2015
End Date: 5/30/2017


Number of Participants: 100


Vulnerable Populations

Women, Rural, Urban, Indigenous Groups, People with Disabilities, Youth, Extreme Poor


Project Components

Stipend for Consumption Support, Asset Transfer, Coaching, Savings/Self-Help Groups (savings and credit services), Technical Livelihood Skills Training, Financial Literacy and Capability Training, Healthcare Services, Education, Governance 

Our Partners

FundaLachuá was established in 2007 as a non-governmental, non-profit development organization in Lachuá, Guatemala, composed of productive and social associations for people of Q’eqchi‘ ethnicity to help build a society that is fair, prosperous, democratic, and in harmony with the environment through the implementation of sustainable development programs to improve the livelihoods of the population and protect the natural resources of the region. FundaLachuá has partnered with Trickle Up since 2009.


The municipality of Ixcán has supported Trickle Up and FundaLachuá to help identify adults and children with disabilities living in extreme poverty for participation in Trickle Up projects, support the organization of savings groups, accompany project staff on home visits, and connect Trickle Up project participants with health issues to municipal health services. Trickle Up and the municipality of Ixcán have been pursuing a more formal partnership since 2013.

Other Project Partners

COMUDIS: Municipal Council of Disability, Centro de Salud – Ixcán, Visualiza, Hope Haven, Fundación Pediatrica Guatemalteca, Hospital Moore, Education Ministry, Asociación de Educadores del Noroccidente (AEN)