Guatemala Water & Sanitation Projects
May 24, 2018
Rick Lawrence
Guatemala Water & Sanitation Projects
Guatemala Water Project Update


ROTARY YEAR 2017 - 2018

BACKGROUND: Asociación BPD has been working in communities of Chimaltenango (Guatemala) since 2002.In order to address some of the basic causes of poor health and nutrition in these areas, over the last ten years we have expanded our efforts to help the villagers address basic sanitation – water systems, gray water filters and latrines – in order to help prevent the constant diarrhea that afflicts the population, particularly children, and make the child mortality rate one of the highest in Latin America. We are also helping to provide fuel-efficient stoves, which use less than 1/2 the firewood than traditional open air fires, prevent burns, and vent the smoke outside the house, thereby helping to prevent upper respiratory problems which are the number one killer of children in Guatemala.

BENEFICIARIES: Pamezul and Vista Hermosa are the communities that would benefit from this proposal. Pamezul is located 16 miles from the county seat of Tecpan, and Vista Hermosa is 22 miles away. Pamezul has a population of 140 families and Vista Hermosa has 55 families, resulting in a total population of approximately 1210 people in the 2 villages. There is public transportation every day in Pamezul and Vista Hermosa. People from these villages can visit a health post in their villages for basic medical attention and advice from nurses. People work primarily on agriculture, a few on their own land and many on rented. Some work as day laborers on other farms, receiving $55 monthly per family. A few can grow enough of their crops to sell them. The major crops of corn and beans are primarily for the families’ consumption.

REQUEST: The request is for three components in each of the two villages:

  1. 2 water systems
  2. Gray-water filters
  3. Latrines

Currently these communities suffer from a lack of water in their homes. Women and children must walk between 10 and 20 minutes each way to gather water from small springs or, in the dry season when these springs dry up, must go farther to more distant springs, however the 98% of Guatemalan surface water, is contaminated. A study the Municipal Govt. paid for indicates that the new system will supply enough water/person/day, within the range for this climate as determined by the World Health Organization. The communities have sought additional technical and financial help from the Municipality of Tecpan and other government and non-profit organizations, but to date have not received any support.

Rick Lawrence, District 7890 Chair – Water & Sanitation Projects
Manchester, CT Rotary Club