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# Chuitacabaj School Water Storage and Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

Location
Chuitacabaj, Aldea Xesana, Sta. Maria Chiquimula, Department Totonicapan, Guatemala

Community Description
The community of Chuitacabaj, Aldea Xesana, is located 15 kilometers from the municipality of Sta. Maria Chiquimula, Department Totonicapan.

The terrain is mountainous and, because of its high elevation, has a moderately cold climate. It is a rural community of Mayan indigenous people whose primary language is K’iche’.

The town’s 1,385 inhabitants are employed in agriculture, masonry, and construction, and there are vendors of various goods. They attend Catholic and various Evangelical churches.

Consejo Educativo de Chuitacabaj, Aldea Xesana is the local elementary school for 378 children. The teachers and parents of the school work hard to develop healthy habits for the children, promoting early childhood development by implementing hygiene and basic health projects.

The local clean water source, however, is downhill from the school, making it difficult to reach water faucets. The school receives water at night and early mornings but not always during school hours. Without a daily water source, establishing healthy habits among the students is very difficult.

Project Description
This project is to construct a concrete reservoir tank and handwashing station at the school.

The tank will be located a few meters from the classrooms and will store water so that it will be readily available for use during the school day. It will be equipped with three faucets where students will be able to wash their hands and brush their teeth.

First, the proposed construction area will be flattened for the concrete foundation. The outer edge of the foundation will have a channel to direct the residual water from the faucets through a tube that will empty over a small cliff. Rebar columns will support the cinderblock structure.

The tank will be 3 blocks in length, 2 in width, with a height of 7 blocks. One-third of the tank will be filled with earth so that the faucets can sit at waist height and still allow all the water in the tank to be accessed.

To prevent the water from leaking through blocks, the interior of the tank will be lined with cement. A concrete top will be fashioned, with a removable portion left for maintenance and cleaning.

Finally, the necessary tubing, valves, and drainage will be installed. In addition to the three attached faucets, the proposed tank will support an adjacent existing faucet.

The school’s Parents Committee did all project planning, supported by the teachers and Peace Corps volunteer. A local builder will construct the tank, at a discounted price, and will be assisted by parent volunteers. The parents will also monitor and maintain the tank once it is in use.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the materials, including sand, stone, cement, rebar, wire, PVC tubing, fittings, faucets, and cinder block.

Project Impact
378 students will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Casey Velasquez

$531.00 Donations Collected to Date$531.00 + additional amounts for future projects