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Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - Guatemala

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - GuatemalaLocation
Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá, in the western highlands of Guatemala, is the second poorest of Guatemala’s 22 departments, where 94% of people live on less than $3.00 per day. 98% of the population of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Mil Milagros (MM) is a U.S.-based charity with a local presence. Its mission is to ensure that all children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade healthy, literate and prepared to continue their education.

Problem Addressed
It is estimated that over 90% of the water supply in Guatemala is contaminated.

In the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala, filters were installed in 6 schools to provide the children with access to clean water for drinking, hygiene, and sanitation. The families of these children now need a way to provide for uncontaminated water in their homes.

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - GuatemalaProject Description
This project consists of 3 individual projects with 5 separate locations, community descriptions and problem descriptions.

41 Sawyer filters will be installed in three partner communities, to be given to the mother leaders who volunteer to prepare meals each school day.

MM will train the mothers on the installation, proper use and maintenance of the filters.

Locations of Projects
1. Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala 2. Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala 3. Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

Descriptions of Communities, Problem Descriptions and Filters to Install

Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala

  1. Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan.  Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.  The school has 26 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem.  There is currently no water in the school or the majority of the homes so water is carried in jugs from a nearby river. (A pump is being installed in a new school well under a separate project to rectify this.)
  3. Filters to Install:  7 water filters will be installed in Nuevo Progreso, one for each mother leader.

Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala

  1. Chutinamit Pacaman is a small community that was displaced during a tropical storm in 2010.  Since then, the 22 families have been living in tents and tin shacks on a soccer field while they push government leaders to purchase the land needed to rebuild.  MM feeds all children year-round in this community due to their preciarious circumstances.  The community has 34 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  The community has water from the local town government and when there is no water, they use rain water catchment systems to ensure they have enough water.  However, the water is contaminated.  The children in this community have really latched on to drinking water regularly as they have had access to water filters that now need to be replaced.
  3. Filters to Install:  22 water filters will be installed in Chutinamit, one for each family in the community.

Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

  1. Pahaj is a larger community outside of the main town of Santa Lucía, with a large population of men who are in the United States.  Many are unable to send money to their families.  The school has 400 children, 19 teachers, and 220 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  Pahaj has very little water and the water sources are unreliable.  They have been lobbying to receive another water source.
  3. Filters to Install:  12 water filters will be installed in Pahaj, one for each mother leader and her family.

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - GuatemalaProject Impact
About 240 people, comprised of volunteer mothers and their families, will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, serving as In-Country Director for Mil Milagros.

Carolyn previously completed the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala, and is working on the Nuevo Progreso Pump Project – Guatemala.

Comments
This project expands the concept to include filters in the homes of the students so that the students can share the benefits of clean water with their families and continue to engage in healthful practices.

In building on the success of the first phase of this project, the effectiveness, sustainability, scalability, and ease of implementation and evaluation are demonstrated.

This project has been fully funded by Aztech Labs.

If you like this concept and would like to sponsor a similar project, just let us know. There is a tremendous need for clean water in Guatemala, and we would love to continue our work there.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - Guatemala

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - GuatemalaLocation
Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá is located in the western highlands of Guatemala. It is the second poorest state, with 94% of people living on less than $3.00 per day. According to the Guatemalan government, 98% of the state of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan. Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.

They have recently received land to build their new school and have begun the process to construct the building. The school currently has 30 children, 2 teachers and 17 mother volunteers.

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - GuatemalaProblem Addressed
Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem. There is no water in the school or the majority of the homes, so mothers have to get water from other sources and carry large jugs on their heads to provide water for the school and their homes.

The community has recently dug an 18-meter deep well on the new school land to provide water for the school for the hygiene program, nutrition program, and general usage.

Project Description
This project is to purchase and install a pump, piping, fixtures, and fittings to provide for the water needs of the school.

The project will be implemented under the direction of the school and town council of Nuevo Progreso, and directly managed by the school principal and the president of the town council.

The work of assembling and installing the system will be performed by local well experts.

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - GuatemalaWater Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as the equipment and materials, including a submersible electric pump and motor of suitable capacity, a control panel, tubing, pipes, adapters, cables, and a small water storage unit.

Project Impact
49 people will immediately benefit from the project, with many more to be served in the future as the school population continues to increase.

Project Director
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, currently working for Mil Milagros. She previously completed the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The school will create and implement a plan for continued maintenance. Mil Milagros staff will monitor the pump to ensure it is properly used and maintained.

Comments
This project will improve the health and wellbeing of students and their families, as well as the school staff. It will add to the educational experience by relieving all of the beneficiaries of the daily responsibility of bringing water to the classroom for ready use during the school day.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,280.80

Donations Collected to Date
$1,280.80

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3

Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3This is a follow-up to two great projects completed in recent years in partnership with Safe Passage, a nonprofit operating in Guatemala City, to provide for the clean water needs of those living and working in Central America’s largest landfill, the Guatemala City Garbage Dump.

These garbage dump workers spend long days sorting through trash to find and sell recyclable items. They live in homes without running water and experience frequent health problems including gastrointestinal infections, parasites, and amoebas.

Safe Passage is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit with operations in Guatemala City. The organization provides approximately 550 children with education, social services, and the chance to move beyond the poverty their families have faced for generations.

Water Charity partnered with Safe Passage in 2009 in the Project for Garbage Dump Workers of Guatemala. The goal was to improve the health of families participating in Safe Passage’s programs. 46 ceramic water filters from were provided to 42 women enrolled in the Adult Literacy program, as well as one small filter for the Literacy classroom and three large filters, one for the Early Education Center and two for the main Reinforcement Building.

Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3In 2010, under the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2, 35 ceramic filters were provided to new families. Safe Passage continued to work with the beneficiaries and provide education and training and to document the health benefits that have accrued from the consistent use of the filters.

In 2012, Water Charity recognized the evolving technology becoming available to purify contaminated water, and started the Filters for Life Program – Worldwide. The program uses the Sawyer filter technology, involving carbon nanotubes to remove all known pathogens, bacteria, cysts, protozoa, and even the smallest viruses. The filters have been proven to last for 10 years with minimal maintenance.

The efficacy of the technology has been shown in various locations, including in the recently completed Water Charity Typhoon Haiyan Relief – Philippines.

With a continually changing population in need of clean water, and in consideration of the success of the first two projects, it was recognized that it was time for another filter project it partnership with Safe Passage.

Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3This new program is to assemble and deliver 50 Sawyer PointONE filters to families of children enrolled in the Safe Passage program.

The filters can be set up in a matter of seconds. They have a high flow rate, eliminating the need to store water, reducing the chances of water being contaminated after it is filtered.

The program will provide safe water to over 300 people.

Recipient families will be trained in the use and maintenance of the filters as well as other aspects of hygiene and sanitation. Safe Passage will ensure that the filters are being used and maintained properly and will evaluate the health benefits that have been achieved.

This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Additional donations for this effective and worthy project will go for other projects in Guatemala.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Sololá School Filter Project - Guatemala

Sololá School Filter Project - GuatemalaLocation
Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá, in the western highlands of Guatemala, is the second poorest of Guatemala’s 22 departments, where 94% of people live on less than $3.00 per day. 98% of the population of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Mil Milagros (MM) is a U.S.-based charity with a local presence. Its mission is to ensure that all children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade healthy, literate and prepared to continue their education. To achieve this goal, MM implements three programs in six communities serving over 1,100 children:

  1. Nutrition which consists of an early childhood nutrition program and a school-based feeding program;
  2. Education which includes the provision of textbooks, school supplies for all children and teacher supplies for all teachers, since the Guatemalan government gives very little funding to educational supports;
  3. A robust health and hygiene program to ensure that the children remain healthy and learn important hygiene habits such as washing hands, brushing teeth, using toilet paper, and consuming filtered water

The strategies of MM have succeeded in nearly eliminating the drop-out rate and improving school graduation rates. USAID states that only 40% of children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade. Over the last three years, 96% of MM sixth graders have graduated.

Sololá School Filter Project - GuatemalaOverall Problem Addressed
It is estimated that over 90% of the water supply in Guatemala is contaminated. The children in the partner schools need access to clean water to be able to brush their teeth and to drink water, rather than sugary drinks prepared by their mothers.

In 2013, MM challenged its partner schools to include water in their lunch menus and to stop serving sugary drinks to the children. The schools are now seeing the value of drinking water but do not have filters to make it practical in their communities.

Project Description
The project consists of six individual projects with separate locations, community descriptions and problem descriptions. However, the overall project within the five communities is similar. In order to be able to be healthy and able to participate in a successful health and hygiene program, the children need access to clean water.

50 Sawyer filters will be installed in six partner schools, to be used in the classrooms and kitchens by the children, teachers and mother volunteers.

MM will organize child, mother and teacher leaders into hygiene commissions at each school to ensure regular and proper use of the filters. Also, MM will track attendance in each school, to measure the impact of the filters on water borne illnesses.

Descriptions of Communities, Problem Descriptions and Filters to Install

Canton Chichimuch, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    Chichimuch is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan where over 90% of the inhabitants are Quiché Maya.  Most are day laborers working in the fields to support their families.  The school has 135 children, nine teachers and 80 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  In Chichimuch, the school is the last along the pipeline for water, which only arrives on Tuesdays for two hours.  Many weeks, there is little to no water by the time the rest of the community has used its water and the children are unable to brush their teeth and wash their hands.  The water that does arrive is not clean and needs to be filtered to be consumed.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Chichimuch will receive eight water filters, one for each classroom and one for the kitchen.

Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala
  • a.    Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan.  Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.  The school has 26 children, two teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem.  There is no water in the school or the majority of the homes, so mothers have to get water from other sources and carry large jugs on their heads to provide water for the school and their homes.  Nuevo Progreso joined Mil Milagros in 2013, so it has not yet received any filters from MM and would need new filters.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Nuevo Progreso will receive eight four water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala
  • a.    San Juan la Laguna is a beautiful town with an unmatched spirit of collaboration.  Many of the families work on local coffee farms and many of the children have to help their parents pick coffee during harvest.  This is a Maya community where the predominant language is Tzutujil.  The school has 300 children, 21 teachers and over 100 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  San Juan la Laguna has several sources of water.  It is the only partner community that rarely has issues with water supply.  The water, however, is contaminated, so in order to drink it, it must be filtered.  The school in San Juan will be entering into a partnership with Mil Milagros in 2014 and will need water filters as it currently has none.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  San Juan la Laguna will receive eight 18 water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala
  • a.    Chutinamit Pacaman is a small community that was displaced during a tropical storm in 2010.  Since then, the 22 families have been living in tents and tin shacks on a soccer field while they push government leaders to purchase the land needed to rebuild.  MM feeds all children year-round in this community due to their precarious circumstances.  The community has 37 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  The community has water from the local town government and when there is no water, they use rain water catchment systems to ensure they have enough water.  However, the water is contaminated.  The children in this community have really latched on to drinking water regularly as they have had access to water filters that now need to be replaced.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Chutinamit will receive four water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Aldea Xecotoj, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala
  • a.    Xecotoj is a diverse community whose residents were displaced in 2005 after a hurricane destroyed their homes along a local river.  The school has 55 children, four teachers, and 30 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description: Xecotoj has serious problems with lack of water and went two months in 2013 with no water at all.  Local governments have piped dirty water into the community once a week.  The water is contaminated and the school needs new filters to be able to implement the health and hygiene program successfully.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Xecotoj will receive eight six water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala
  • a.    Pahaj is a larger community outside of the main town of Santa Lucía, with a large population of men who are in the United States.  Many are unable to send money to their families.  The school has 400 children, 19 teachers, and 220 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  Pahaj has very little water and the water sources are unreliable.  They have been lobbying to receive another water source.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Pahaj will receive eight 20 water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Sololá School Filter Project - GuatemalaProject Impact
This project will benefit 953 children, 65 teachers, and 470 volunteer mothers in 6 schools.

Project Director
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, currently working for Mil Milagros.

Comments
This is a great program due to its effectiveness, sustainability, scalability, and ease of implementation and evaluation.

Please give generously to this ongoing program. We will accept what you can afford, but we will give special recognition for donations of $100 or more. Any contributions in excess of the amount needed for the project will be allocated to other projects in Guatemala.

Special Recognition
Michael and Carla Boyle, Nelsonville, OH, USA - $2,500

S A Escott - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - $100

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Cajolá Latrine Project – Guatemala

Cajolá Latrine Project – GuatemalaThis project is to build 20 latrines in the Municipality of (Santa Cruz) Cajolá, Department of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Community

Cajolá is a town of 16,000, located in the department (state) of Quetzaltenango. 93% of the people are Maya Mam. The Mam are one of the largest Maya groups of Guatemala, and still speak their own language.

Cajolá was founded more than 500 years ago. The name means “Son of water” because of the rivers. 25% of the people live in the central, urbanized section while the other 75% live in the outlying rural area. 41% of the residents are less than 15 years old, and many are unable to attend school. Agriculture is the most important economic activity.

The community is located less than 10 miles from a nearby city that was deeply affected by the devastating 7.2 earthquake that shook Guatemala and killed dozens of people in November, 2012.

The culture of Cajolá is very traditional. Sadly, Cajolá has a very high poverty index, 94% of the people live in poverty, 57% in extreme poverty (which means that there isn’t enough to eat each day). Half of the children are chronically malnourished. 69% of the people are illiterate, 77% of the housing is in bad condition, 41% of the houses are overcrowded, 49% lack potable water, and 46% lack sanitary services.

Cajolá Latrine Project – Guatemala Project

Location
Twenty latrines will be built on the property of the participating families deemed most in-need of sanitary infrastructure in the municipality of Cajolá. They are families that currently have no access to a latrine or toilet.

Building standards indicate that the latrine must be located far enough from any well or water source so as not to risk contamination. Each latrine pit will be at least 8 meters deep, and will not interfere with any other water source or construction.

Group History and Family Selection
In April, 2012, Health Center workers approached the municipal leaders about forming womens' groups to educate the community in preventive health. Hogares Saludables groups were formed in May, 2012, and have met 12 times to receive health classes and plan and develop this project.

Participants took part in the Hogares Saludables Preventive Health course. The groups elected their own leaders, who decided on the graduation requirements of the course (that the same family representative must attend at least 8 of the first 10 classes in order to graduate the course).

Together, the Health Team and Conejos Communitarians de DeBartolo de Cajolá (COCODE) designed this project in order to educate and empower the participants.

It was determined that 20 latrines and 20 concrete floors would be built for the 40 families of Canton Xetalbiljoj who upon graduation of the health course, were found most in-need.

Womens' group leaders approached the municipal government to request financial support for the project in October, 2012. From October to December, 2012, Health Center Staff, COCODE, the Peace Corps volunteer, and womens' group leaders collaborated to visit the houses of each family who graduated the course to complete the Plan Para Vivir Mejor diagnostic and give each participant guidance on how to improve the health of their family.

The families who met all project requirements were prioritized by Health Center Staff, and the 20 neediest families who lack a latrine were selected.

Participants are of Maya Mam descent, and the majority of group members are single mothers or widows. 94% of the municipality falls below the poverty line, and the project includes many of the poorest families of the entire community. These families live in sub-standard housing with very little income, and struggle to keep food on the table.

Technology
This construction of pit latrines will be carried out according to the recommendations of Peace Corps Guatemala staff. The model is sometimes referred to as the “Peace Corps Guatemala, Healthy Homes Model.” A specific design is utilized and the masonry workers are trained using the designated manual. In mid-March, 2013, mason workers will participate in two days of training on this particular latrine construction.

Steps to be Taken
The year of educational health courses has already been completed. Project design and management has been led by Peace Corps Volunteer Kathryn Lee, and supported by community health worker Julissa Garcia (Tecnica en Salud Rural) and community leaders Arnulfo Vail (COCODE de Caserio Los Vailes), Juana Melchor (Presidenta de Hogares Saludables), and Efrain Vail (Secretario de Asociacion APROEM).

Julissa Garcia will lead the purchase of materials from collaborating hardware store Ferreteria Colima, and families will receive the materials only upon completion of excavation of their latrine pit and providing their share of the materials.

The latrines will be built by masons who have been trained in the Peace Corps-approved design. Each family will be responsible for digging the latrine pit to a depth of at least 8 meters.

The masons will construct the “casita” or house of the latrine, consisting of the floor, walls, seat, roof and doors.

The masons will coordinate with the families to have all latrines constructed within three weeks.

Kathryn Lee will lead a team of health workers through house visits to ensure that the construction was completely satisfactorily and that the family is well-educated in the use and maintenance of their latrine, as well as reminded of the proper handwashing and hygiene techniques necessary to achieve a decrease in incidence of diarrheal disease.

Use of Water Charity Funds
The Water Charity funds will be used to pay the qualified and trained masons. They will also be used for materials, including wooden frames, toilet seats, sheets of zinc laminate for walls and roof, and nails.

Beneficiaries

209 people will benefit from this project, comprised as follows: Age 25+: 26 Male, 31 Female. Age 15-24: 8 Male, 20 Female. Age 0-15: 63 Male, 61 Female.

The Water Charity participation in this project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

You may continue to contribute using the Donate button below. Any contributions in excess of project amount will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

Cajolá Latrine Project – GuatemalaCajolá Latrine Project – Guatemala

La Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

La Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – GuatemalaLocation
La Primavera, Municipality San Pedro Jocopilas, Department El Quiche, Guatemala

Community Description
La Primavera is located in the department of El Quiche, Guatemala. The population in 2010 was 3,044 inhabitants.

The center of Primavera consists of a market, a Catholic church, a health post, and the school which is separated into three buildings. Since the main part of the center is the school, it plays a major role in community organization.

Within the school there are a total of 14 teachers, 420 students who attend elementary school in the morning and 74 students who attend middle school in the afternoon.

La Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – GuatemalaWith over 400 homes within Primavera only 33% have running water. The water committee has been working hard to try to increase this percentage, but has faced difficulties due to the costs involved. Other community organizations include “Parents of the Students”, “Committee of Community Development”, and midwives.

With the help from Water Charity, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Chelsea Leroux, the school was able to complete the La Primavera Water Project – Guatemala. The rainwater catchment system, incorporating a Rotoplas water tank with a water basin, now provides water for one of the buildings. This project gave the teachers and director of the school motivation to continue improving the water situation in the other buildings.

Project Description
This project is to provide a steady source of water for two buildings at the school. A 10,000 L water tank and an 8 faucet handwashing station will be built.

The tank will be built on top of a one-meter block of stone, so that it sits higher than the two buildings (it already sits at a higher elevation so the extra meter will help with the gravity).

La Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – GuatemalaThe next step will be to connect this water tank through tubing buried in two trenches that run from the tank to the two buildings

Finally, four ONIL water purification tanks will be installed in order to supply safe drinking water to the students.

The project is being implemented in partnership with Agua Para La Salud, a local NGO that has assisted many communities in Guatemala for almost 2 decades.

The community will dig the two trenches (80 cm in depth) to the two buildings before construction begins. The community will also contribute sand, rock, gravel, wood, and 3 mason helpers each day of construction for five weeks. In addition, the community will provide housing and three meals a day to the mason.

The materials will be bought and transferred from a well-known hardware store in Nebaj, El Quiche and should take three trips.

The construction should take five weeks, with one professional mason who has done this project several times in the past and three mason helpers from the community.

Project Impact
There are 508 beneficiaries of this project, plus parents who utilize the facilities during celebrations and holidays.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Chelsea Leroux

Comments
The ample supply of clean water will improve the health and wellbeing of students and faculty at the school. The handwashing station will be a great resource for the students to start practicing proper hygiene at an early age.

La Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – GuatemalaLa Primavera Tank and Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

The Water Charity participation in this project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

You may continue to contribute using the Donate button below. Any contributions in excess of project amount will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

El Jícaro Concrete Floors in Homes Project - Guatemala

El Jícaro Concrete Floors in Homes Project - GuatemalaWith this project, Water Charity is extending our mission into an extremely vital area, the improvement of the home in order to impact on public health problems affecting the wellbeing of the community.

In the past, we have focused on providing safe water and effective sanitation for those in need. “Sanitation” has mostly been limited to toilets, latrines, and drainage. In this project, we address a third part of our mission, the provision of public health resources to improve sanitation and hygiene.

This project is to construct 64 concrete floors in homes that presently have only dirt floors. The concrete will be mixed on site and poured and finished to a thickness of 6 centimeters.

The project will be implemented in the community of El Jícaro, Comitancillo, located in the department of San Marcos, Guatemala.

The objective of the project is to decrease the transmission rate of preventable infectious diseases (especially respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases) among rural families by improving sanitary conditions and hygiene within the home, resulting in healthier, more productive families.

El Jícaro Concrete Floors in Homes Project - GuatemalaThe project has been planned by the community leaders and health promoters, together with other community members, who have been participating in monthly preventive health education activities since June 2010. The project grew out of an evaluation of the needs, which resulted in a determination that this project will address a problem of critical importance to the community.

The project is being implemented by Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Truxillo. Lauren has been in site since July 2009, working in coordination with the local Health Center to train health promoters in preventive health.

As a Healthy Homes Peace Corps Volunteer, Lauren trains community health promoters and community leaders about preventive health education, and monitors the health promotion activities they carry out within their community. She trains them in organizational and project design skills so that they may develop the capacity to continue planning successful community projects in the future.

El Jícaro Concrete Floors in Homes Project - GuatemalaThe community has undertaken the responsibly to carry out the project in its entirety, from planning and monitoring the project to managing funds and distributing materials. Additionally, they will contribute 100% of the labor expenses, which is 38% of the total project cost.

Project funds will be use to buy the materials, including cement, gravel, and sand necessary for the construction of the floors. (It is to be noted that the small stream that runs through the community is not a sufficient source of sand for the project.)

The project will directly benefit the 451 people who live in the homes, including the 74 women and 6 men who participate in the trainings.

This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Truxillo.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Lauren of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Lauren and/or those of other PCVs in the country.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2

Woman with Water Filters - GuatemalaThis is a follow-up to the great project completed last year in partnership with Safe Passage, a Guatemala-based NGO. To read about that project, CLICK HERE.

The population to be served is a portion of the 3,000 people who live and work in Central America’s largest landfill, the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. These people spend long days sorting through trash to find and sell recyclable items. They have formed communities on top of layers of trash, with tin walls and roofs housing an average of eight people per household.

Within these homes there is a general lack of running water and hygienic practices, leading to frequent health problems including intestinal infections, parasites, and amoebas among others.

Many only receive water for a couple of hours in the morning or night, where it is stored in a barrel for up to 24 hours. The water is exposed to bacteria and other microorganisms, making it harmful to the health of children and families when consumed.

Women, Camino Seguro - GuatemalaSafe Passage’s mission is to create opportunities and foster dignity through the power of education. Their program currently serves over 500 children and nearly 300 families.

Water Charity intervened in May of 2009 with the goal of improving the health of families participating in Safe Passage’s programs. Under the direction of Liz Love, who heads up the Adult Literacy program, we provided 46 water filters from Ecofiltro to 42 Adult Literacy homes, as well as one small filter for the Literacy classroom and three large filters, one for the Early Education Center and two for the main Reinforcement Building.

These filters, along with one workshop on the use of the filter and good hygiene practices, have reduced the frequency of diarrhea and other intestinal problems in the target families. In addition, there have been many reports of higher consumption of water and satisfaction with the water quality.

Building on the success of the pilot project for water filters, along with Safe Passage’s desire to support more of the families participating in its programs, this project provides the opportunity to extend access to clean water to additional families.

The Adult Literacy program continues to grow, now including a new Men’s Evening Class and many new students. This project is to provide 35 additional Ecofiltro ceramic water filters to serve 280 persons in this new and unserved group.

Additionally, Safe Passage will provide training on installation and maintenance of the filters, along with general hygiene and nutrition, to each family.

Water Charity holds to the model of following up successful high-impact projects, more of the same. The first filter project more than met our expectations in terms of the numbers served, the compliance in continued use of the filters, and the resultant reduction of waterborne illness. The recipients were, and continue to be, very appreciative, noting the obvious decrease of illness within their families. We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to expand the concept to an additional group of people as part of the integrated services being provided by Safe Passage.

This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We are particularly appreciative of the support by Six Senses for our projects in Guatemala during these trying times in the wake of the volcanic eruption and flooding. Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects for the families at the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, which have been particularly devastated by this tragedy.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.

Coxjac School Latrine Project - Guatemala

Girls - Guatemala This is a project to construct three latrines for a school system in rural Guatemala. The process will also incorporate lessons involving the environment and waste management, hygiene and sanitation, and construction techniques and teamwork.

The project is being carried out in Coxjac, Totonicapan, Guatemala, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Casey Kittredge.

Latrine - Guatemala The latrines will be used by all three groups of students who use the school (elementary, middle school and a weekend middle school program) for a total of 240 students and 12 teachers. The current bathrooms have been deemed unsanitary by the Department of Health due to their proximity to the area where the atol, the morning snack, is prepared for the elementary students.

The walls will be built using filled recycled plastic bottles, covered with concrete. Project funds will be used to purchase materials, including rebar, cement, sand, gravel, wire, chicken wire, wood planks, and corrugated metal sheets.

The community will provide all manual labor during the construction of the latrines.

Sink - Guatemala Planning meetings have taken place with the Mayor, the community, school personnel, and parents. The work will be coordinated by a committee that has been formed. After construction, the committee will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance.

This project has been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Casey Kittredge of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Casey and/or those of her counterpart PCVs in Guatemala.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.

La Cruz Water Project - Guatemala

Kids - Cajola, GuatemalaThis project is to build a 1200 liter rainwater catchment tank, with an accompanying handwashing station, at an elementary school in La Cruz, Cajola, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The tank will hold a 2-week supply of water for the 285 students that attend the school.

The Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta has little access to water, consisting of a small chorro that receives water once a week for an hour. The young students currently bring water in 2-liter bottles from their homes or the local stream to school in order to sustain the water supply.

Teachers do not have water to mop their floors or to teach basic hygiene to the children. Atol, a mid-morning snack, cannot be handed out due to the lack of water. At times water must be borrowed from neighbors in order to do necessary chores.

Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta La Cruz - GuatemalaThe project is being administered by Peace Corps Volunteer Ashley Kissinger.

Water Charity is pleased to be participating with other NGOs in this project, and our funds will go for skilled labor and materials. The community and parents from the school are contributing additional labor, and will maintain the tank and pipes upon completion.

To see plans for the project, CLICK HERE.

This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Ashley Kissinger of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Ashley and/or those of her counterpart PCVs in Guatemala.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.



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If you prefer, you can send a check to:

Water Charity
P.O. Box 368
Crestline, CA 92325

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