Skip to main content

Nonprofit leader to discuss community mobilization efforts in Guatemala for ‘Thursdays at the U’

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

Arianne Peterson

Arianne Peterson

On Thursday, March 7, Arianne Peterson will present “It Takes a Village” as part of UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays at the U" lecture and performance series. The presentation will be from noon-1 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus, 1800 College Drive.

Peterson, interim executive director for ALDEA, a nonprofit organization that supports grassroots development programs in partnership with Mayan families, has traveled to visit partner communities in rural Guatemala several times, most recently in January.

In 2017 ALDEA was profiled by the “The Visionaries,” a public television series hosted by “Law & Order’s” Sam Waterston. The resulting documentary, “It Takes a Village,” tells a story that begins with the organization’s founder, Dr. Carroll Behrhorst, who realized 50 years ago that rural Guatemalans have the capacity to solve their own development problems. Capturing ALDEA’s continued focus on empowerment — especially among women and youth — the episode highlights two communities at different stages of building a healthier future through cleaner water, better sanitation and hygiene, increased food security and greater nutrition.

Peterson will present the 30-minute documentary, share her own experiences supporting community mobilization efforts in Guatemala and discuss how others can connect to efforts like these — even without leaving the U.S.

For more information about "Thursdays at the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at or 715-788-6216.