- WC News
- Our Projects
- Who We Are
Projects In Alphabetical Order
This Sierra Madre de Chiapas project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Deep in the Sierra Madre on the Mexico/Guatemala border lies a community called Checute, 48 homes situated on a ridge bordered by canyons on either side. The community is located in the Municipality of Motozintla, close to the border with Guatemala.
Checute residents are subsistence farmers. In a given year, their wellbeing depends on there being enough rainfall to allow them to bring in the corn and beans they raise to feed their families. They do not grow cash crops, but only have a few coffee plants and vegetables for their own use. The past two years have seen drought conditions that threatened crop failure, which would have put their survival in jeopardy.
Like the majority of people in the impoverished Sierra Madre region, their ability to build a house of solid material, to pay for unexpected medical costs, or to obtain a used truck which would open up possibilities of more work, depend on someone from the family making the dangerous trip to the U.S. to find work in fields or meat packing plants that allows them to send money home.
The community is located on a long ridge that is high above the river canyon. Forty-eight families with a total of 242 people do not have access to water. Many of these households are made up of 9, 10 or more members making life difficult when they have to haul water from far away.
Children from other communities walk to Checute to attend one of three schools there. The primary school has 200 students, the "telesecundaria" middle school has 150 and the kindergarten has 50. None of the schools has adequate water for sanitation. A man has to work every day to fix a flimsy ½” hose that brings water to one of the schools from a long distance away.
This project is to build a system to bring an ample supply of safe water to Checute.
The project will be supervised by the Sexto Sol Center, an NGO that has 20 years of experience working with communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas.
There is a water source 3.5 kilometers away from the village that flows all year long. Men from the community will open a track through the forest with hand tools, where the hose will traverse the steep mountainside. They will build 6 small registers of cement and cinder block that protect the line from too much pressure and to aid in maintaining the system.
The supply line will be 2” polyduct hose, buried to prevent animals from damaging it, and keeping it safe from damage from the sun or vandals. This type of hose is superior to PVC for this purpose because it is flexible, durable, and long-lasting. It is sourced from a factory that manufactures it from 100% post-consumer waste plastic.
The hose will be run to a water tank, from which water will be distributed to the houses. The best site for this has been found and permission to use the land granted. They have received initial confirmation that the municipality of Motozintla is willing to provide the materials they need for that construction.
In the eventuality that the City is not able to provide those funds, the leaders of Checute have told Sexto Sol that the community desperately needs the water hose which they say they will make work with a temporary situation until such time as they can build the tank.
The work will be done by members of the community, especially those with children in the various schools.
Tamara Brennan, PhD., with technical supervision by Francisco Barrios.
Monitoring and Maintenance
The residents of Checute will monitor and maintain the system. Sexto Sol will periodically check to ascertain that the system is functioning properly.
This project is the 10th water system project in the ongoing Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region of Mexico, spanning the border with Guatemala. These projects are designed, implemented, and funded by Water Charity in partnership with the local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development.
In addition, Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Sexto Sol’s Executive Director, will provide capacity building to help people better manage their domestic water. This will include preventing waste water from pooling on the ground where animals consume it and become ill. With simple changes, usable gray water can be directed into edible plants. She will also provide a demonstration on how to recycle plastic into useful items as a strategy to keep it out of the watershed and prevent contamination of the environment.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
Funds Needed :