EORM Las Colmenas Handwashing Station and Septic Tank Project – Guatemala

Aldea Las Colmenas, Zaragoza, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Community Description
Aldea Las Colmenas is a small village of Zaragoza, Chimaltenango. Located high on a mountain and accessible only by dirt road, it is about an hour by car from the main town.

Las Colmenas is a small community of approximately 36 families, most people consider themselves ladino, a mix of indigenous and European descent, and the language spoken is Spanish.

The community has one primary school and most adults in the community have only a primary education. The main source of income is agriculture, and in some cases remittances from family members working in the United States.

EORM Las Colmenas currently has only one large stone sink with one faucet to provide for the water and hygiene needs of the 72 children. The existing faucet is connected to the community water supply, which is fed from a natural spring.

The community has no sewage treatment or drainage system, so the school currently has two large septic tanks 20 meters deep for the flush toilets. The current septic tanks are meant only for the toilets, so a smaller tank is needed just for the sink.

Project Description
This project is to build a sink with 5 faucets for the school, so that the children may have more space to practice healthy habits of hand-washing and teeth-brushing, as required by the Healthy Schools program in which the school participates.

In addition, a new septic tank will be built into which the water will flow from the sink. Filtered water will exit the treatment tank and filter into the neighboring cornfields, which will be beneficial to crops.

The water supply is constant and the school has water 24/7. This project will be located next to the current stone sink, and therefore only a meter of piping is necessary to connect the new sinks to the pipes that bring water to the existing sink.

The community has already provided cinder blocks and wooden boards for the construction.

Money received from Water Charity will be used to purchase and transport additional materials including cement, sand, iron reinforcements, piping, faucets and drainage accessories.

Due to the community’s isolated location, no materials can be bought in the village, but can easily be found in the main town Zaragoza and transported to the school. Members of the community have skills in construction, having done projects at the school before. Therefore skilled and unskilled labor will be provided by the families of the community and the school.

Project Impact
The project will directly benefit the 72 students and 4 teachers at the school by providing infrastructure for hygiene. It will have a broad indirect benefit for the 36 families of the community whose children will bring home healthy habits from school.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Carolyn Vopelak

The Healthy Schools program has been in operation for several years, as a partnership between the Peace Corps and various schools throughout the country. It has been proven to be effective in improving the health of the students in participating schools. This small program will allow the school to come into compliance.

Carolyn previously successfully completed the Rincón Grande Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – 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 Carolyn Vopelak of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Carolyn and/or those other PCVs in the country of service.

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