Workers at Central America’s largest landfill, Guatemala City’s Garbage Dump live and work in some of the most wretched conditions one could imagine.
They clamber all day long over mountains of teetering trash, fighting with wild dogs and buzzards for scraps to sell. It is dangerous work. Methane fires, medical waste, rusty metal and even worse things must be dealt with on a daily basis. Occasionally they even have deadly explosions.
They live in homes without running water and experience frequent health problems including gastrointestinal infections, parasites, and amoebas.
We at water charity have been working to help these families for many years now by providing them with high quality water filters for their homes, and their community center & school, run by our friends Camino Seguro (aka Safe Passage).
Water Charity partnered with Safe Passage in 2008 in the Project for Garbage Dump Workers of Guatemala. The goal was to improve the health of families participating in Safe Passage’s programs. 46 ceramic water filters from were provided to 42 women enrolled in the Adult Literacy program, as well as one small filter for the Literacy classroom and three large filters, one for the Early Education Center and two for the main Reinforcement Building. Read about the successful conclusion of this project HERE.
In 2010, under the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 2, 35 ceramic filters were provided to new families. Safe Passage continued to work with the beneficiaries and provide education and training and to document the health benefits that have accrued from the consistent use of the filters. The conclusion of this project can be found HERE.
In 2012, Water Charity recognized the evolving technology becoming available to purify contaminated water, and started the Filters for Life Program – Worldwide. The program uses the Sawyer filter technology, involving carbon nano-tubes to remove all known pathogens, bacteria, cysts, protozoa, and even the smallest viruses. The filters have been proven to last for 10 years with minimal maintenance. The filters can be set up in a matter of seconds. They have a high flow rate, eliminating the need to store water, reducing the chances of water being contaminated after it is filtered.
It was with this new technology that we enacted the Guatemala City Garbage Dump Water Filters Project – Part 3. Its successful conclusion can be found HERE.
The “conclusion” reports for all these projects are also linked to in their individual entries, and more of these projects are to follow. As funding comes in we are committed to increasing access to clean water for these most disenfranchised of people. We have also done quite a few filter, well and rainwater catchment programs in Guatemala at large, and will continue to do good work in this beautiful and historic country. You can look through all the great work we have done there by clicking HERE.
Please consider supporting this much needed effort, the success of which can be seen in this PowerPoint presentation, entitled Ecofiltros for Safe Passage Families, and in this short video below.