Rancheria El Roble Water Project – Mexico
Rancheria El Roble, Chiapas, Mexico
Rancheria El Roble is a settlement situated on a steep ridge that faces Santo Domingo La Cascada in the heart of the high-elevation coffee producing region. The population has grown in recent years, and there are now 27 households with over 200 people.
As with the surrounding communities, the people make a meager living from the coffee they raise that is sold to middle men who take it exporters on the coast for international sale.
A family’s earnings from year to year depends not only on how much coffee they manage to harvest, but also on the price for coffee that is set by things they cannot control, like the commodity market or the value of the U.S. dollar. Climate change has impacted production to an alarming degree in recent years. As a result, poverty has deepened. There are alarming signs of serious malnutrition in the faces of the children.
The people cite the hardship of not having reliable access to water as the most challenging aspect of life in El Roble. In years when the rains were good during the rainy season, some of the families get through the fall by relying on flimsy hoses to bring water from creeks to their homes. These hoses require constant repair as thirsty squirrels and animals chew holes in them. But by February, just as the coffee harvest is underway, the creeks dry up leaving them without enough water to properly wash and process their coffee for sale.
At present, the people have to walk to one of two springs up the mountain in order to carry water home by bucket. The drudgery of carrying water for all household uses consumes their time and makes keeping a home difficult work.
This project is to build a water system for Rancheria El Roble.
Fortunately, there are two beautiful perineal springs that flow reliably all year with clean crystalline water that has been filtered through the rock. This project proposes to improve the collection uptake at each spring where the water now spills out down the slope.
Using the methodology proven in the previous projects, two kilometers of 2-inch polyduct hose will be used to unite these two sources into a single water system and connect it to a small distribution tank that will distribute the water to the homes in the village. Each family will connect to the hose to bring the water into their individual domestic tanks.
The community is well organized and united. They have a water committee that was elected to maintain the system for all families. The men in the village are prepared to carry out the work to build this system and are anxious to complete it quickly.
200 people will benefit from the project
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.
This project is the 13th 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.
Monitoring and Maintenance
The water committee will monitor the functioning of the system, and perform maintenance and repairs. Sexto Sol will periodically check to ascertain that the system is working properly.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
The project was designed to build a water system for Rancheria El Roble.
The years of worry and struggle have come to an end for the people in Rancheria El Roble now that the water is finally coming into their homes. Now they can water the coffee seedlings that they raise to renew their coffee groves when once they had to watch their hard work wither and die during the end of the dry season for lack of water. The families no longer have to trudge 2 kilometers up the mountain to carry water by bucket from the springs. Instead of having to fetch water, children can play or concentrate on their homework. Now, the water comes to them.
The work to build the water system was straightforward for the community with the teams of men laying down the hose from the two springs. Working together they built the small dams at the sources and the tank where the two water lines come together for distribution to the homes down slope. They reported that the experience made them feel more unified.
They send their most sincere thanks to Michael and Carla Boyle for the generosity they have shown them. They send them an open invitation to come have Caldo de Gallina de Rancho the next time they are in the neighborhood.
We extend our thanks to Tamara for completing this important project.