Miguel Aleman Water Project – Mexico

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Miguel Aleman, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
The community of Miguel Aleman, population 330, is located west of the town of Belisario Dominguez. The 58 homes are scattered along the steep slopes on either side of a small seasonal river.

Families in Miguel Aleman raise corn, beans, squash, and chickens to sustain their families while small-scale coffee farming has traditionally offered them a nominal yearly income. However, the widespread failure of the coffee crop in Chiapas and Guatemala for the last 4 years has left them struggling to survive the loss of what for many was their only source of income. This has caused more immigration of men out of the community to find work while the women are left to maintain the household without the ease of having water on demand.

Problem Addressed
In the fall of 2005, Hurricane Stan caused extreme flooding and landslides that destroyed many sections of what had been a well-functioning water system comprised of galvanized steel pipe that had served the community for many years.

The families affected do not have the means to purchase the materials needed to repair it themselves given the poverty in which they live. To date, like so many communities affected by the disaster of 2005, their multiple requests for help from the municipal government have not resulted in assistance from the local or state authorities. The prolonged situation has been a source of much difficulty and aggravates the challenges of maintaining families while living in poverty.

Project Description
This project is to restore water to the community by replacing and upgrading the water line that was lost in the Hurricane Stan disaster.

The original source of water for the community comes from a mountain nearby and is clean with the good flow even at the end of the dry season. The distribution tank was undamaged by the hurricane. Long sections of pipe are still in place, held up by solid concrete supports in many places. What remains to be fixed are multiple sections where the pipe washed away in the flood.

This project proposes to provide the members of the water committee with the materials they need and the technical help necessary to repair these gaps and to re-establish the flow of the water to the community. Instead of replacing the expensive lost pipe with more of the same, we are opting to install a more flexible and less costly 2″ hose which will make it possible for the community to install and maintain it themselves without requiring special machined parts. One section will use a PVC pipe where the line crosses the river and a heavy hose would not be a viable material to use. In the event that one day the section of PVC pipe should need to be replaced, the cost would be within reach of the community if each family were to contribute a small amount.

Project Impact
All of the 330 members of the community will benefit from this project.

Project Manager
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. with technical supervision provided by Francisco Barrios. Both are from the non-profit Sexto Sol Center for Community Action.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Technical direction, logistical help, monitoring, and maintenance will be provided by Sexto Sol.


This project is part of the Sierra Madre Water Program, a comprehensive effort to improve water access in the underserved and impoverished Sierra Madre de Chiapas region close to the border with Guatemala.  These projects are designed and implemented by Water Charity and a local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development.

Fundraising Target

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 – This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

Any additional donations will be directed toward new projects in Mexico.

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