Pacux is a small, urban settlement where survivors of the Rio Negro massacre were forcibly relocated after the Chixoy dam flooded their farmlands and residences. Juan de Jesus, Glenda, and Benjamin all lost relatives in the Rio Negro Massacre. Yet their strength of character, and love of their community endures in spite of the great pain they have suffered. There efforts to revitalize their community are one of the ways in which they honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the massacre. In the words of the mural below, “The voice of the children and grandchildren will never forget the terror.” The voices of Benjamin, Glenda and Juan de Jesus are heard loud and clear through their project titled: “New image for our community of Pacux.”
On the surface, their project is about cleaning up garbage from Pacux’s streets. And what a difference their project has made! Before when you stroll through the streets of Pacux, you would be almost overwhelmed by the sight of garbage strewn everywhere. Today, Pacux is almost entirely litter-free. This was made possible through Juan, Glenda, and Benjamin’s extraordinary community organizing effort, in which over 100 community members participated. Glenda once said that the stereotype of Pacux residents is that they are lazy, that they do not participate in community projects. This stereotype has always been false, Glenda says, and their project proves it.