matching grant will provide clean water for many Mayan families in the
departments of Alta Verapaz and El Peten, Guatemala. Very few of the
Q’eq’chi Mayan have clean water. To access many of the villages, one
must walk or use water routes. There is no running water; no
electricity; no telephone; just one room huts with dirt floors. These
Mayan have their own dialect. Few people speak Spanish.
is no available clean water in the area. Mayan women walk three
kilometers or more to get fresh water for the family. This routine is
repeated every day throughout the year. The life of these poor Mayans
could be greatly improved through the installation of rainwater capture
systems (cisterns). These systems or cisterns hold 1700 liters or 440
gallons of rainwater. Some of the present systems are providing water
for cooking, drinking, washing clothes and bathing. Another very
important benefit to the Mayans would be a major reduction in sickness,
especially for children. Diarrhea and dysentery are two serious health
problems in both departments.
rainwater systems are available from a company in Guatemala. Maintenance
is minimal throughout the year. Cleaning every two months with bleach
and soap is all that is needed. The basic cost for one unit is $230.
This includes the tank, gutters, and corrugated metal. The local
families that benefit from the cisterns also are very willing to assist
in the installation of the units. Most families will have one unit, some
families could have two units.
more information on how you could participate as a partner in this or
other 2005-06 matching grant projects contact World Community Services
Mel Hansen or write to the