Mexico

Oaxaca Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Mexico

Oaxaca Earthquake Relief & Water Filter Project - Mexico

This project is made possible by the partnership of Water Charity & the National Peace Corps Association

A massive earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Mexico in September of 2017 caused widespread damage, and many people were killed in this region.  There was a lot of press and a good deal of aid directed to Mexico City, rightly so, but many people failed to realize that people closer to the epicenter were being ignored by and large.  Due to the work of volunteer Denise Lechner, Water Charity has been able to put together this project to help the still struggling people of South-Eastern Oaxaca. She is to be aided in this effort by our Project Base friends Nate and Sam, who have raised some of the money for this project already.

LOCATION
San Mateo del Mar is located on a sandy ridge between the Pacific Ocean and the “Laguna Superior” (Superior Lagoon) in the area of Oaxaca State known as the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  This is the southernmost are of the state, bordering with Chiapas.
Google Earth of the Oaxaca Region
Zoom in on San Mateo del Mar

COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION
San Mateo del Mar is considered the second most marginalized municipality in Oaxaca State and the 12th nationwide. It is home to the people from the Ikoots ethnic group, commonly known as Huaves. There are 14,252 people in the municipality and their main economic activity is small scale fishery.
Woman of San Mateo del MarFishermen of San Mateo del Mar
Community of San MateoThe Laguna

PROBLEM ADDRESSED
On September 7th 2017, an 8.2 earthquake in the Richter scale hit the States of Oaxaca and Chiapas. According to the National Seismological System the most affected area was the Tehuantepec Isthmus located in Oaxaca, bordering Chiapas, both considered the most seismic of the country. [1] 12 days later, another big earthquake hit the center of the country affecting this area as well.

According to the first statistics, there were at least 110,000 properties affected in Oaxaca and Chiapas, without considering the damage produced by the second earthquake. [2]

In San Mateo del Mar, due to its location on a sandy ridge, the earth went through a liquefaction process during the earthquake damaging a total of 1887 homes affecting approximately 9000 people (about 60% of the population).
Earthquake Destruction Oaxaca
Beside the overall infrastructure destruction, one of the main concerns in San Mateo del Mar is related to water issues. The lack of services such as piped water and drainage systems, has people depending on water wells to obtain their water, and use septic tanks for sewage. With the earth movement, many septic tanks broke and contaminated the water wells and the lagoon.

The immediate solution from the government was installing big drinkable water tanks in different areas of the main town, but someone from CONAGUA (the government department that deals with water issues) has told us that the government doesn’t have the capacity to solve the problem in the long run, and that the ideal would be to help with filtering systems since it is most likely that the groundwater aquifers are polluted.
Earthquake Destruction San Mateo Del Mar
Three months after the earthquake there is still no permanent solution, just a few temporary bathrooms have been installed, and there’s started to be shortages in the water tanks. Many people are still defecating outdoors.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
250 Sawyer Point One Bucket Filters are being delivered to San Mateo Del Mar.  They will be distributed by Denise, along with her colleagues.  There will be trainings to teach people how to properly use these filters and maintain them.  With occasional backflushing, they last for 10 years or more and are guaranteed up to 1,000,000 gallons.

These 250 filters are to be distributed in the three main communities of the area: The "Third Section" or "Head Town" of San Mateo del Mar (Section most affected by the earthquake in the main town), San Pablo and Colonia Juarez.
San Mateo Del Mar DwellingWoman in Water
This effort will be completed by mid-January, and will be aided by the arrival of Sam Hardy and Nate Jones, our wingsuit flying daredevil friends from Project Base.  Water Charity has been building a partnership with them for a couple years now, and the fact that they were flying nearby in Mexico and are friends with Denise created a perfect situation for them to come and lend a hand.  We expect they will gather some of their famously stellar footage, so check back!
San Mateo Home
Since September 11th, Cultural Anthropologist Denise Lechner and Pediatrician Anja Widmann have been in San Mateo del Mar to do relief work. Since then, they’ve been working in the three main communities affected: The Head town of San Mateo del Mar and the neighborhoods of San Pablo and Colonia Juarez.

Denise and her team, have continued to help with temporary shelters, workshops to make cots and distribution of staples and other necessities.

There have been a small number of filtration systems received in the area, that were installed in households, but the filters WC is donating will make a big difference, as the vast majority of people are still dealing with unimproved water sources.

We’ve managed to have a permanent team in San Mateo helping us with the distribution and the follow up of our projects while we are not in the community.  The way the workshops are designed, it allows the people who received the training, to teach others on the same subjects, reaching a much larger amount of people. We’ve been working mainly with schools, and with organized groups in the small sections or neighborhoods.

PROJECT IMPACT
While the initial filters would be installed in schools that need them, and health centers, we’ve noticed that the people suffering most with the water problems live far away from these places... so we are organizing three or four neighboring families to receive each filter. This way we would be impacting a total of at least 2250 to 2,500 people since families are large.

VOLUNTEER DIRECTING PROJECT
​Denise Lechner

MONITORING AND MAINTENANCE
The filters are to be installed in the first couple of weeks of January, and we will do a couple of workshops in two or three communities for people to learn how to use and care for them.  The women of the community already hold regular meetings and are working with our team, so this will be a relatively easy task.  The filters themselves require very little maintenance.  Occasional backflushing with the included backflush syringe to remove sediment build up is all that is required.  Otherwise the filters are quite robust and can last for 10+ years without issue.
Women of San Mateo del Mar

The initial workshops are connected to the distributions, and then our permanent team in the community will be going to check their use, and issues that may arise. Follow up pictures of these visits will follow.

COMMENTS
​This project is part of our Filters For Life Program, and relies on the Sawyer Hollow Membrane Water Filter technology.

This project has been funded by the Paul Bechtner Foundation.  Please contribute to our Filters for Life program using the Donate button below, and your donation will be used for our next water purification project.


Community Meeting San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico 
Working after the Earthquake to repair roofs etc.

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Sierra Madre Water Program - Mexico & Guatemala

Sierra Madre Water Program - Mexico & Guatemala

NPCA - WC LogosWATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS, together with The SEXTO SOL Center for Community Action, announce the implementation of the SIERRA MADRE WATER PROGRAM - MEXICO & GUATEMALA.

The program is designed to provide safe water, effective sanitation, and public health services for 300 villages in the Sierra Madre Region of Chiapas, Mexico, through an unprecedented collaboration of the three organizations.

With a target budget of $2,100,000, the program will be implemented in 15 phases, each addressing the needs of 20 villages. Phase 1 is budgeted for $140,000 in improvements.  Phase 1 is already well underway!

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexico

The program focuses on supplying drinking water using the appropriate technology for each village, with the objective of also providing water for sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. Benefits will be sought in reducing morbidity and mortality, improving quality of life, improving food security, and providing economic opportunities for direct participants and the community at large.

The projects to be implemented will be those requested by the individual villages to address their specific needs. A complete needs survey for the entire program is well underway, while specific project planning for Phase 1 villages is nearing completion, and preliminary planning continues for each successive village.

The design of each project will incorporate measures to maintain the improvements after completion, thus ensuring sustainability far into the future.

Sexto Sol will provide on-the-ground management of the program and the individual projects. The National Peace Corps Association and Water Charity will raise money for and publicize the program, and recruit Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to assist with project implementation. Water Charity will participate in the planning, execution, and evaluation of the program, train the RPCVs to perform their tasks, and provide for their deployment.

Edward James OlmosValued Support and Endorsement
We are honored to receive the recognition, support, and endorsement for this program from Edward James Olmos, renowned director and actor of stage and screen.

Mr. Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film Stand and Deliver, the only Hispanic-American to be nominated in that category. His career encompasses another 22 wins and 24 nominations. Among his great achievements, he is also recognized for his roles in Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice, Selena, El Pachuco, and both the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit.

Mr. Olmos is known for his social activism, especially involving the U.S. Hispanic community. He narrated a portion of the movie Zapatista, showing the plight of the campesinos in Chiapas in the mid-90s. 

I am pleased to endorse the work being done by the Sexto Sol Center in partnership with Water Charity to bring potable water and sanitation to impoverished communities in Chiapas. I have stood behind the Sexto Sol Center since they began their service in Chiapas 17 years ago. I know what they are capable of doing. Water Charity is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of bringing clean water and sanitation to under-served communities in 63 countries worldwide. This is the ideal team to efficiently make these much needed improvements in the quality of life for people in the remote mountain villages. I encourage you to support this effort by Water Charity and the Sexto Sol Center. Your support will help them improve the lives of thousands of people. The world will be better for it.
Edward James Olmos

Program Location
This program is being implemented in the Municipalities of Motozintla, Siltepec, El Porvenir, La Grandeza, and other locations in Chiapas, Mexico as well as culturally and linguistically contiguous communities across the border in Guatemala.

300 villages have been chosen for consideration at this time.  As the program winds through its various phases, a specific list of target communities will be compiled.  To see a complete list of the municipalities in Chiapas, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexico

Needs
The Sierra Madre mountain range rises from the coastal plain, reaching over 10,000 feet in elevation. This important watershed has 98 rivers that flow to the mangrove forests on the Pacific Coast and feed the Grijalva River on the inland side. The land is very rugged with steep slopes and countless sharp ridges that fall away on all sides into canyons.

The watershed was severely clear cut about 20 years ago with no reforestation implemented. This left the region extremely vulnerable to natural disasters that have causeed great hardship for the people living there.  Most notabe were the disasters of 1998 and Hurricane Stan in 2005, both of which devastated the region with material losses that are still felt to this day.

Seasonal flooding causes damage regularly to deforested slopes resulting in major landslides that have become a "normal" occurrence. An active fault and volcanic rumbling create a lot of seismic activity which in July, 2014, resulted in damage to thousands of adobe homes in the poorest areas.

The region is dotted communities of people engaged in agriculture (campesinos). They depend on raising subsistence crops and small scale farming of potatoes, wheat, or coffee to sell. It is considered to be the most impoverished region in Mexico. When then-President Fox visited the region he made the sad announcement that El Porviner town was the poorest town in the country.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoThe people are Maya from three language groups, Mam in the high country, C'atok or Mocho in Motozintla and Tusantan, and Kaqchikel in the Mazapa area. The majority of the people are Mam.

In the 1960s a government program attempted to force acculturation on the population through a form of institutionalized racism that prohibited the people from speaking their language. Elders still speak Mam, but the middle aged population for the most part does not. Children and youth, therefore, have some confusion about their identity. This history has caused great pain and it leads people to not admit to being indigenous. Very few people wear the traditional clothing.

Malnutrition is the norm and is most evident in the children who do not reach normal height and often have trouble paying attention in school. Drought, loss of cultivated land to landslides, and the failure of the coffee crop all have contributed to the furthering of poverty for households in recent years.

When a family member falls ill, the expense can be devastating, sometimes forcing a family to have to sell their land. People die from curable diseases and illnesses that have been eradicated in most of the world are still a problem.

Adult illiteracy is common, with many people over 40 years of age having only attended 2 years of formal schooling. This has improved for children now with better access to rural schools, but typically the teachers are students who have not completed their teacher training.

The Sierra Madre is a mineral-rich region with foreign mining companies eager to strip mine a variety of minerals on the lands inhabited by the people. The tension caused by this looming future is worrisome for the people.

The Sierra Madre region has not received development assistance from the government or from international organizations. The Sexto Sol Center is the only international NGO with a long-term presence in the Sierra Madre.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoTypical Projects
This program is working toward ensuring water for all household uses, including for drinking, cooking, sanitation, and hygiene in 300 communities. It also provides for irrigation of the family and community gardens.

Typically, a community has an old water system that was built years ago, but many households do not receive water, and the system does not meet the needs of the population. The appropriate technology is to capture the water at the source and build a holding tank, and then install a water line over rough terrain to the village.

Typical projects include wells, pumps, rainwater catchment systems, aqueducts, water storage systems, water purification solutions, erosion control, reforestation, flooding prevention, and irrigation systems.

An effort will be made to encompass all of the water, sanitation, and public health needs of each village in a village-designated project. Within the project, there may be several stand-alone sub-projects, say, for example, at a school and at a clinic.

Hygiene and sanitation are inextricably tied to the goal of achieving a safe water source. Handwashing stations are crucial to allow for effective hygienic practices, especially in the schools clinics, and community centers. Bathrooms, erosion prevention, and flooding prevention and remediation are necessary to protect the water sources.

Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - MexicoProjects Underway & Completed
The program was begun with overall planning ascertaining village project needs and moving forward with project-by-project implementation. The first project was implemented in December, 2014, and we have already completed 8 village wide projects!.

This list will be updated with links to the project pages as new projects begin, and there is another list at the end of this posting:

Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico

Xelajú Chico, Hector Paniaguas y Barrio Reforma, Water System Relief Project - Mexico

El Progreso Water System Project – Mexico

Niquivil Water System Project - Mexico

Miguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

Esperanza Water System Project - Guatemala

Santo Domingo La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Agua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico

Checute Water System Project - Mexico

CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

Los Laureles Water Project - Mexico

Program Management
The program is being be managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, which serves impoverished communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico, near the border with Guatemala.

Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in 2010 in partnership with Water Charity.

The Incorporation of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The program introduces the groundbreaking concept of utilizing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in the direct implementation of the projects in each of the communities. RPCVs are people who have returned home after having completed 3 months of training plus 2 years of service in a developing country. They have considerable experience in the community development process and the management of water and sanitation projects.

Water Charity has previously worked with dozens of RPCVs in the implementation of projects. These are dedicated people who have decided to remain in the country after their PC service, people who went to work for local NGOs, which they bring into the process, or people who return to the country after they have been home for a while. We have also collaborated with RPCVs who have Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexicogone on to serve in the Peace Corps Response Program, a short-duration commitment to a specific project assigned by the Peace Corps.

This program is completely unique in scope: It will be the first time that a significant number of RPCVs are being deployed on a large-scale program as volunteers, funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations, to serve under the direction of a local nonprofit.

The RPCVs will be recruited by the NPCA, trained by WC, and deployed to Motozintla for a set, but renewable, term.

The recruitment process will utilize the structure of 139 NPCA Member Groups, which are determined by country of service and hometown. 

It is anticipated that several RPCVs will come from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles (RPCVLA), one of the Member Groups with close ties to Water Charity.

The RPCVs will be fluent in Spanish and have substantial knowledge of and experience in community development. They will “hit the ground running”.

The RPCVs will train the villagers and work side-by-side with them in the detailed planning, implementation, and evaluation of the projects.

The RPCVs will volunteer their time. WC will provide funds for their travel. Sexto Sol will provide management, lodging and in-country transportation.

Benefits 

 

Entire Program

Phase 1 of 15

Budget

$2,100,000

$140,000

Population

70,000

4,666

Number of Villages

300

20

Number of Projects

900

60

Cost/Project

$2,333

$2,333

Cost/Person (3 projects)

$10

$10

This program will benefit about 70,000 people in 300 communities by providing each of them with a reliable supply of safe water and access to effective sanitation, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of all who reside in the region. Phase 1 will help 20 of those communities, and will serve as a proven model for the rest of the program, developing a skilled labor pool and a reliable and economical supply chain for materials and equipment.

Program Funding
Donors may contribute to the whole Phase1 effort, to be allocated where needed for projects by clicking on the DONATE button below, or by donating on the individual project pages, as new projects are started under the program.

Corporate and foundation donations are welcome and encouraged, and amounts and attribution rights will be negotiated.

Individual donations of any amount are encouraged. Every donation of $100 or more toward the overall program will be recognized on this page.

If you wish to donate “in honor of” or “in recognition of” or “in appreciation of”, please include the wording on your donation form or in an email directed to mail (at) watercharity.org If you wish for your donation to be anonymous, just let us know.

Fundraising Target

$140,000 for Phase 1 ($2,100,000 for the 15-phase program)

You can make a difference by helping us improve the lives of thousands of families in the Sierra Madre with your tax-deductible contribution. 

*****

Water Charity
Water Charity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 2008 and headquartered in California, that does water, sanitation, and public health projects around the world. Since that time, 1,800 projects in 65 countries have been implemented.

National Peace Corps Association
The National Peace Corps Association was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a mission to championing lifelong commitment to Peace Corps values. The goals of NPCA are to help the Peace Corps be the best that it can be and help returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and RPCV groups thrive.

The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action
The Sexto Sol Center serves impoverished communities in Chiapas and Guatemala, where a change of vision and specific technical assistance can help people create a better life.  Since 1997 Sexto Sol has assisted people to create success with cooperative businesses, grow health-giving food, improve neglected schools for their children, regain cultural pride, protect the watershed, create eco-villages and heal from the trauma of disaster and conflict.

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Rancheria El Roble Water Project - Mexico

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - Mexico

NPCA and WC logos

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

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - MexicoLocation
Rancheria El Roble, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
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.

Problem Addressed
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.

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - MexicoAt 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.

Project Description
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.

Project Impact
200 people will benefit from the project

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - MexicoProject Management
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.

Fundraising Target
$5,550

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$5,550

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, Ohio.

Additional donations will go to future projects in Mexico.

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - MexicoRancheria El Roble Water Project - Mexico

 

Rancheria El Roble Water Project - MexicoRancheria El Roble Water Project - Mexico

 
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Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

 Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

NPCA and WC logos

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

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

Location
Loma Linda, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Chiapas, Mexico there is no television in the homes. In Loma Linda, there is no Internet either, and cell phones only have reception at 6 a.m. for a little while. So, children enjoy a childhood freed from technologies that would otherwise make them sit still and opt for passive entertainment. Instead they run and play all day in the rainforest and coffee groves. Teenagers spend afternoons shooting hoops at the school. It looks like what childhood used to be.

Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoLoma Linda is home to 280 residents. All households depend on growing coffee for a living which affords people the most meager of incomes in good years. Recently however, the rust plague, which is widely believed to be the result of the warming climate, has dramatically reduced yields. While a few families have small stores fronts in their homes, everyone grows their own corn and beans to keep their families fed. They raise a few chickens for the eggs and for meat a couple of times a year on special occasions.

Problem Addressed
Loma Linda is another of the many villages in this impoverished mountainous region that suffered the destruction of essential infrastructure when Hurricane Stan did its damage in 2005. The water system that they had relied on for many years was damaged beyond repair. Families have had to get water as best they can from tiny springs and creeks that inevitably dry up in the spring.

They have tried unsuccessfully to get help from the municipality of Siltepec on many occasions. Every time there is an election, the candidates have made promises to fix this situation. No one has followed through with their promises in eleven years.

Beyond the extreme inconvenience of raising a family without water, the lack of access to water has had a specific impact on household economies in the village. When the coffee is harvested it must be thoroughly washed on the same day to remove the fruit from the bean. Unfortunately for Loma Linda coffee farmers, right about the time the coffee beans have been painstakingly picked from trees on steep mountainsides, the local springs dry up. This means that farmers cannot properly wash the coffee. Instead the sticky fruit pulp ferments on the beans and pretty much destroys their hopes of being able to obtain a good price for what would otherwise be considered exceptionally attractive coffee sought after by specialty buyers abroad.

Project Description
This project is to build a water system for Loma Linda.

TLoma Linda Water Project - Mexicohe community has identified two perennial creeks that are near each other. The system will draw water from each creek and bring it in one hose to a tank from which it will be distributed to all homes. The population has grown in the past decade since the natural disaster so this new system has been designed to provide water to new homes higher up the mountainside.

The plan is to build a dam at the highest end of each creek using what is called "piedra ahogada" construction whereby the masons use rock from the site that is encased in concrete reinforced with rebar. This is the strongest construction possible and is cost effective since rock from the area will be used.

The distribution tank will also be built with rock and will be reinforced with "armex" in the traditional way to insure that it can withstand the pressure of the water when full. Armex is a rectangular structure made of rebar that is used to reinforce concrete columns. The water will come from the creeks in a 2" hose for over a little more than 2 kilometers. The entire system will rely on gravity to bring the water to homes.

Loma Linda residents have formed a new water committee to oversee the work needed to build the new water system and to organize the work required to maintain the system once completed. They will insure that all residents properly conserve the water. Community members have agreed to work together to complete all work required to create a system that will last many decades. They are committed to making sure that all people living in the community benefit from the project with no household being left out due to topography.

Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoThis village is located in the same valley where Sexto Sol and Water Charity have already successfully completed three water projects: Santa Domingo La Cascada, Cipresal La Cascada, and Hermosillo. The 9-kilometer road from the highway to the area is paved most of the way. Local providers sell cement and other building materials in La Cascada eliminating the need to transport materials from Motozintla, the city 3 hours away.

Project Impact
280 people will benefit from the project.

Project Manager
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 12th 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.

Fundraising Target
$6,500

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$6,500

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, Ohio.

If you wish to donate for our next project in Mexico, please use the Donate button below.

Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoLoma Linda Water Project - Mexico

Conclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

Conclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoThis project has been completed under the direction of Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build a water system for Loma Linda.

Tamara reports:

When the elected representative of Loma Linda community first came to ask for help, he cited the lack of water as a major impediment to farmers being able to sell their coffee for a good price. For this reason, this project began with a challenge to get the water flowing in time for the 2018 coffee harvest.

Despite a major delay when a large landslide cut off the road during the rainy season, we did it! By mid-January the farmers began picking their coffee while having the confidence that they could finally properly prepare it for sale. This will help them in the future to be able to join collectives that seek to directly export their exceptional coffee for a better price.

It took a lot of intense effort build the water system given how the three structures that were built required hauling heavy stone and sand up steep cliffs from creek beds below. Horses were used to move the heavy material.

Two dams were built, one at the head of each creek. One of these required the men to manage passing the rock up a small cliff at the base of the dam. They are pleased with the way the stone holding tank turned out since the goal was to build a solid structure that would last for decades. A metal lid was installed that is locked to prevent vandalism.

The people in Loma Linda village extend their most sincere thanks to Michael and Carla Boyle, sponsors of this project, for kindly giving them the opportunity to make this significant improvement to their quality of life. Please note that the population in the village will increase by 1 this March, a week before the planned inauguration celebration is to take place.

We extend our thanks to Tamara for completing this important project, and again thank the Boyles for providing the funding.

Conclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoConclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

 

Conclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoConclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico

 
Conclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - MexicoConclusion of Loma Linda Water Project - Mexico
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Funds Needed : 
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Los Laureles Water Project - Mexico

Los Laureles Water Project - Mexico

NPCA and WC logos

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

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoLocation
Barrio Los Laureles, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Barrio Los Laureles neighborhood is located on the far southwestern edge of the Motozintla river valley. Even though the pipe that brings water from the high country to tens of thousands of homes in the city passes through their streets, they have been told by the water authority that it is impossible for them to have access to it. For reasons no one quite knows, Los Laureles does not appear in the city register. This is why years of trying to get help has led to excuses by the authorities, who claim that their hands are tied.

Los Laureles is home to 56 households with 293 inhabitants. Thirteen homes are headed by women, some with small children and others comprised of elderly widows who live alone with no support from family members who have moved away. The standard of living is poor, with men working in Motozintla as laborers in construction or other itinerant work. Some women wash clothes by hand for families in the city, a job that pays very little.

Located about a half-hour walk from the center of town, fare on local transportation is a major expense when children go to high school. As a result of their poverty, they do not have the means to purchase the materials they need to replace the old water line and extend it higher up the canyon to a better source of water.

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoThe neighbors are well organized and have a community gathering place where they hold meetings. They report enjoying good relations among the families, which is apparent when visiting them. The water committee has a designated person called the "fontonero" whose job it is to maintain the water system and make sure that each family is properly conserving the water.

Problem Addressed
The people live next to the river where other water associations have large hoses that take what little water there is in the dry months to other neighborhoods in other parts of the valley. They have survived by obtaining water with their own hose that was originally put in place decades ago. But now the hose is so deteriorated that it no longer serves them. Their hose crosses over the river, and up to now, they have simply hung it over an old tree and let it hang the 150 or so meters to where it reaches the other side.

During the rainy season, given the extreme weather that is more common in recent years, flashfloods have ripped the hose away many times requiring them to have to replace the expensive hose. The men have noticed that the tree is decaying and will not withstand the weight much longer.

A major deforestation project 30 years ago damaged the watershed causing what had always been perennial springs to dry up. With the rainy season just over, the families that form Los Laureles water association are worried about how they will survive the coming dry months when only a trickle of water runs down the wide river bed of hot, dry rocks and sand.

It's not easy keeping a home and family without water especially when the wind whips up the dry riverbed and deposits a fine dusting of sand on everything. When the rains stop, you cannot raise tomatoes or chilies in your patio or plant fruit bearing bushes to add nutrition to your children's diet. The chayote plants that provide so much to eat in the summer dry up in a matter of days when the rain stops coming.

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoProject Description
This project is to build a water system for the community.

The line will be extended to total of 3 kilometers up the canyon, and the old hose will be replaced. This will allow them to reach a better place in the river where they can dig a deep pool from which they will take up the water.

They have determined that the best way to secure the hose as it crosses the wide riverbed will be to build 4 strong concrete and rebar columns that will sustain the weight of the hose when full of water while also withstanding floods during the rainy season. They will reinforce it with a strong steel cable that will support the hose as it hangs between the columns.

A more effective "pichancha", the filter that keep debris from clogging the hose that is placed in the river at the source, will be built. Typically, people use an old plastic bottle that they poke holes into with a hot nail and then strap to the end of the hose. Sexto Sol's design for a more effective filter is made of PVC parts that are available locally. It has been used successfully in other water projects saving communities much labor from having to unclog the line.

The community has many years of experience organizing work crews and working cooperatively for the benefit of the neighborhood. The people say they are ready to work together to get this work completed quickly.

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoProject Impact
293 people will benefit from the project. There is also an elementary school in the community.

Project Director
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.

Fundraising Target
$6,900

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$6,900

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.

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoLos Laureles Water Project - Mexico

Los Laureles Water Project - Mexico

Los Laureles Water Project - MexicoLos Laureles Water Project - Mexico

 

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Hermosillo Water Project - Mexico

Hermosillo Water Project - Mexico

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

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

Location
Hermosillo, Municipio de Siltepec, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Hermosillo is a community situated on the Northeastern side of a river canyon a couple of kilometers away from both Santa Domingo Cascada and Cipresal Cascada, two communities where we have successfully completed projects to bring potable water into the homes. There are 35 homes with a total of 180 people. Many of the households are younger families so the population is expected to grow in the coming years.

Like so many settlements in the Sierra Madre, Hermosillo lost its water in 2005 when 4 days of extreme flooding caused a landslide that diverted the original water source leaving the people without access to water to the present day. The lack of access to the water families need to maintain their households has greatly exacerbated the challenges the people have to deal with in this impoverished community.

Families in Hermosillo make their living by growing coffee on small plots. Some raise honey bees in their coffee groves to supplement their income from the sale of honey. Both of these products are vulnerable to the impact of climate change which has been serious in Chiapas and nearby Guatemala. As a result, many families have to rely on the funds sent to them by a family member working in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. While the money they provide is essential, immigrating usually means that young children behind to be raised in households headed by women. The tedious task of carrying water from the river falls to these women and their children and leaves less time for other tasks.

There is an elementary school and kinder garden with a total 42 children and 3 teachers who live permanently in Hermosillo. The two schools need water for sanitation for the students and to provide good living conditions for the teachers.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoProblem Addressed
The original water tank built many years ago is in good state, requiring only an application of a layer of cement to ensure that it is water tight. The original metal pipe was completely destroyed, so a new water line is required to bring water from a good source 3.5 kilometers away. A distribution tank will be built to allow people to connect their individual lines to bring the water into their homes.

Project Description
This project is to build a water system for the community. A new distribution tank will be built above the community and connected by a new piping system to the existing water tank.

As with all the projects completed to date, it is always a technical challenge to assure that the gravity fed system will successfully deliver water to the farthest homes and those on high ridges since the topography presents challenges. The original system had the capacity to deliver water to all homes, including the 5 households on the slope on the other side of the canyon. So, this system will use the proven distribution, but bring the water into the community via a new line from a better source.

The families are organized into a Comité de Agua, the Water Committee headed by people they elect to direct the work required to maintain their system for the benefit of all. The community members have decided that they will collectively hire a person called the fontanero who will assure the appropriate distribution of the water so that all homes receive water. He will enforce the proper use of the water by reminding people to turn off their faucets when their tanks are full. Part of his responsibilities will also be to perform the maintenance of the system as needed.

The people are committed to doing the manual labor needed to accomplish this project. This will include making the cinder blocks and constructing the distribution tank, resurfacing the old holding tank, and building a small catchment dam at the source. They will work together to lay down the hose across the steep forested patches, burying it to prolong its life. The hose will pass through the coffee plots of members of the community so access rights are assured.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoThe community has a committed leader who has been very active in working with the Sexto Sol team to arrive at a technically feasible plan for restoring water to the community.

Project Impact
180 people will benefit from the project.

Project Managers
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. and Francisco Barrios, of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Comité de Agua will monitor the system, maintain it, and repair it when necessary.

Comments
This project is the 12th 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.

Fundraising Target
$6,700

Donations Collected to Date
$6,7000

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.

Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoHermosillo Water Project - Mexico

Conclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - Chiapas, Mexico

Conclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoThis project has been completed under the direction of Tamara Brennan, of Sexto Sol. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE

The project was designed to build a water system for the community, including a new distribution tank and new piping system.

Conclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoTamara reports:

Water to all homes
The people in Hermosillo are feeling absolutely triumphant now that the water is flowing to all homes. People cheered and shouted for joy when the water finally came. Now that it's been a week of having water on demand, the women say that life has become much easier for them.

Not only does this make keeping a home and family easier, there will be enough water to properly wash the coffee when it is harvested in January this year and into the future. The coffee produced in this valley is considered to be some of the best coffee produced in the Sierra Madre. Now empowered to prepare it properly for sale, it will be possible for the organization CABIOCHI whom we assisted in another project to command the price the growers deserve. That is a significant improvement.

An unexpected delay
The rainy season of 2017 saw some especially bad storms. In the high country the dirt roads are often damaged as a result, cutting off communities for weeks and even months until heavy machinery can be sent in by the local municipality. Hermosillo's water project was unexpectedly delayed when a massive landslide covered a wide extension of the road. We went in to check the progress of removing the debris to see if the hose could be delivered but decided that the large truck carrying the 35 heavy rolls of hose would not be able to pass. The rains stopped and the work was completed, enabling us to finally deliver the materials.

The community had to change the path that the hose was to take after a coffee farmer asked for a large sum of money to allow the community to pass the hose through his land. The people consider the resulting route to be better since it provides the pressure we'd hoped to achieve in order to reach homes that are farther away.

Conclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoConclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoWork crews included youth who experienced the satisfaction of helping the community
Before the rains started the men worked together to build the catchment dam at the source using rocks to build a solid structure that will withstand flooding should that happen again. They used a burro to carry the cement up the steep slope. The young men of the village were actively involved in the work which gave them the opportunity to learn and to feel the pride of helping the community. Once the rain stopped in November, they concentrated their efforts to quickly install the hose with crews working intensely over the week it required.

Conclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoConclusion of Hermosillo Water Project - MexicoThe leaders of the water committee send their heartfelt thanks to Michael and Carla Boyle for their kindness and solidarity with the families in Hermosillo. The Sexto Sol Center also heartily thanks them for their commitment to making life easier for people in this impoverished region.

We extend our thanks to Tamara for completing this important project, and again thank the Boyles for their support.

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CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

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

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoLocation
Chiapas, Mexico

Community and Problem Addressed
    The life of a small-scale coffee grower is a life of poverty
On the steep mountain slopes of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas thousands of small-scale farmers produce the exceptional coffees that importers are always looking for. While this valuable commodity may be traded far away on the New York Stock Exchange, the survival of the cafetaleros, peasant coffee farmers, depends on factors beyond their control.

Coffee production can be a heartbreaking enterprise. The plants are vulnerable to bad weather such that a couple of days of strong wind or an unseasonable rainstorm can strip immature beans from the trees in a few hours. The price they receive from year to year depends on geopolitical and economic forces originating far from the where coffee is grown that impact exchange rates and commodity prices. Farmers assume large debt to cover the cost of production and harvest, so in years when prices are depressed or the yield is low, they end up in the red at the end of the harvest.

For the average cafetalero, farming has never afforded them more than an impoverished quality of life but recent years have been especially difficult Rising temperatures have allowed the roya pest to proliferate at elevations where it did not thrive before. Roya has devastated coffee farms throughout Chiapas and neighboring Guatemala, depressing local economies for several years, causing small businesses to close and forcing more people to seek work as undocumented laborers in the United States.

    Joining a cooperative is the best strategy for poor farmers
Moving coffee from the farm through all the steps leading to exportation is complicated. The best way for poor farmers to maximize their chances of obtaining a better price is to participate in a cooperative organization that can negotiate contracts on their behalf. If the cooperative is well organized and forward thinking, it can obtain government grants earmarked for rural development in the coffee sector.

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoFive years ago, CABIOCHI, Cafetaleros de la Biodiversidad de Chiapas S. C., was formed and now includes members from over 16 communities. Many of these communities have benefited from water projects already completed as part of the Sierra Madre Water Program and several are on the waiting list for help to have access to potable water. Among these are the remote communities of Bremen, San Juan Calera, Via Hermosa, Ejido de Ojo de Agua, Victoria, Checute, Berriozabal, Hermocillo, Ejido Bandera Agentina, Ejido Cipresal, Los Lagos, Agua Prieta, Buena Vista, 20 de Abril, and Niquivil.

This year CABIOCHI is working to obtain organic certification which will give them access to the Specialty Coffee Market with buyers who pay premiums for organic gourmet quality. The most important strategy for acquiring and retaining loyal buyers is to maintain vigorous plants on well-managed farms that produce the highest quality beans they are willing to pay well for.

    CABIOCHI's Nursery Project
Under normal conditions, every year farmers replace unproductive coffee plants with new seedlings to keep yields strong. It takes several years for the new plants to mature and start bearing coffee so this work must be done in a timely manner. Now with so much damage to the trees from roya, it is urgent that they replace a larger portion of their plants with resistant varieties if they are to be able to recover from the losses. But the cost of acquiring seedlings is prohibitive, especially now that they have had a several bad years with very little income.

Four years ago, CABIOCHI began producing seedlings for its members on a large lot they rent for their nursery in Barrio Xelaju Chico on the outskirts of Motozintla, the largest city in the region. This year they received major funding to significantly expand the nursery from SAGARPA, Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganadaria, Desarollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentacion, the federal agency of the Mexican government responsible for rural development. While they were awarded funding to produce 100,000 plants, CABIOCI has managed to double the capacity to 200,000 through the wise management of those resources.

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoProject Description
This project is to complete the irrigation system for a nursery that will produce coffee plant seedlings. The plants will be distributed to 398 small scale coffee farming families to empower them to improve their household economies.

To get the nursery going four years ago, they installed 2.5 kilometers of 2" hose to bring water from a perennial stream for irrigation. The hose that was installed was not new, so some sections now need to be replaced. In addition, the line needs to be extended to reach a better point for uptake where they have just acquired the water rights.

A catchment dam at the source will be built and the newly dug holding pond at their facility reinforced. It is expected that this upgrade will create a system that will serve for decades to come.

Project Impact
The organization has 398 members, each representing a multi-generational family of an average of 6 or more members. A conservative estimate is that 2,400 people will benefit. The nursery project employs 40 people who provide the labor on site. Farmers who are members of CABIOCHI will receive the plants free of charge.

As CABIOCHI gains a reputation for providing consistently exceptional quality coffee, the benefits in terms of acquiring more favorable terms for export are significant. The organization continues to grow as they reach out to more farmers in other communities.

Project Managers
The project will be administered by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D. and Francisco Barrios, of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, an award-winning non-profit that has had a permanent presence in the region since 1997.

In addition to experience with working with communities to create potable water systems, Sexto Sol has 20 years of experience assisting small-scale coffee farmers seeking to obtain a better price for their coffee.

CABIOCHI was founded by Isac Ventura who has played a significant role in the Sierra Madre Water Program by facilitating partnerships with communities in need of potable water and the Sexto Sol Center.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The managers of CABIOCHI will monitor and maintain the system. Sexto Sol will periodically check to ascertain that the system is functioning properly.

Comments
This project is the 11th 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.

In addition, Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Sexto Sol’s Executive Director, will provide capacity building to help people better manage their domestic water. This will include preventing waste water from pooling on the ground where animals consume it and become ill. With simple changes, usable gray water can be directed into edible plants. She will also provide a demonstration on how to recycle plastic into useful items as a strategy to keep it out of the watershed and prevent contamination of the environment.

This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation.

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoCABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

 

CABIOCHI Water Project - MexicoCABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

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Checute Water System Project - Mexico

Checute Water System Project - Mexico

This Sierra Madre de Chiapas project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.NPCA and WC logos

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

Checute Water System Project - ChiapasLocation
Checute, Motozintla, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Deep in the Sierra Madre on the Mexico/Guatemala border lies a community called Checute, 48 homes situated on a ridge bordered by canyons on either side. The community is located in the Municipality of Motozintla, close to the border with Guatemala.

Checute residents are subsistence farmers. In a given year, their wellbeing depends on there being enough rainfall to allow them to bring in the corn and beans they raise to feed their families. They do not grow cash crops, but only have a few coffee plants and vegetables for their own use. The past two years have seen drought conditions that threatened crop failure, which would have put their survival in jeopardy.

Like the majority of people in the impoverished Sierra Madre region, their ability to build a house of solid material, to pay for unexpected medical costs, or to obtain a used truck which would open up possibilities of more work, depend on someone from the family making the dangerous trip to the U.S. to find work in fields or meat packing plants that allows them to send money home.

Checute Water System Project - ChiapasProblem Addressed
The community is located on a long ridge that is high above the river canyon. Forty-eight families with a total of 242 people do not have access to water. Many of these households are made up of 9, 10 or more members making life difficult when they have to haul water from far away.

Children from other communities walk to Checute to attend one of three schools there. The primary school has 200 students, the "telesecundaria" middle school has 150 and the kindergarten has 50. None of the schools has adequate water for sanitation. A man has to work every day to fix a flimsy ½” hose that brings water to one of the schools from a long distance away.

Project Description
This project is to build a system to bring an ample supply of safe water to Checute.

The project will be supervised by the Sexto Sol Center, an NGO that has 20 years of experience working with communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas.

Checute Water System Project - Chiapas, MexicoThere is a water source 3.5 kilometers away from the village that flows all year long. Men from the community will open a track through the forest with hand tools, where the hose will traverse the steep mountainside. They will build 6 small registers of cement and cinder block that protect the line from too much pressure and to aid in maintaining the system.

The supply line will be 2” polyduct hose, buried to prevent animals from damaging it, and keeping it safe from damage from the sun or vandals. This type of hose is superior to PVC for this purpose because it is flexible, durable, and long-lasting. It is sourced from a factory that manufactures it from 100% post-consumer waste plastic.

The hose will be run to a water tank, from which water will be distributed to the houses. The best site for this has been found and permission to use the land granted. They have received initial confirmation that the municipality of Motozintla is willing to provide the materials they need for that construction.

In the eventuality that the City is not able to provide those funds, the leaders of Checute have told Sexto Sol that the community desperately needs the water hose which they say they will make work with a temporary situation until such time as they can build the tank.

The work will be done by members of the community, especially those with children in the various schools.

Checute Water System Project - MexicoProject Impact
242 people will benefit from the project.

Project Managers
Tamara Brennan, PhD., with technical supervision by Francisco Barrios.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The residents of Checute will monitor and maintain the system. Sexto Sol will periodically check to ascertain that the system is functioning properly.

Comments
This project is the 10th 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. These projects are designed, implemented, and funded by Water Charity in partnership with the local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development.

In addition, Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Sexto Sol’s Executive Director, will provide capacity building to help people better manage their domestic water. This will include preventing waste water from pooling on the ground where animals consume it and become ill. With simple changes, usable gray water can be directed into edible plants. She will also provide a demonstration on how to recycle plastic into useful items as a strategy to keep it out of the watershed and prevent contamination of the environment.

Fundraising Target
$6,100

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$6,1000

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.

Checute Water System Project - MexicoChecute Water System Project - Mexico

Checute Water System Project - MexicoChecute Water System Project - Mexico

Checute Water System Project - MexicoChecute Water System Project - Mexico

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico 

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico This project has been completed under the direction of Tamara Brennan, PhD., of Sexto Sol. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build a system to bring an ample supply of safe water to Checute.

Tamara reports:

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico The people in Checute are now enjoying the benefits of being able to count on having water on tap in their homes for the first time. They say that this project has made a significant improvement in their lives. As one man put it, "I haven't had to waste one day checking on my water hose in weeks. I may just leave it there for the squirrels." For years his family had relied on a ½ inch hose that brought a trickle of water from a small spring several kilometers away. This kind of system, so typical in the region, requires constant maintenance even including patching hard to find holes when thirsty squirrels chew through it. In the spring the water dried up leaving the family to wait months until the rainy season.

The work in Checute as originally planned for this project changed in the doing as unforeseen contingencies arose. When the rains started it became obvious that they would need to build the small dam higher up the mountain where the water was clearer. Also, the water tank was finally built on another location when it was obvious that it would provide more favorable conditions for managing the pressure of the water flow from high elevation. This was a good decision.

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico When the original group of families first planned their project, they had invited more neighbors to join them in order to share the benefits with as many as possible. Many of those families declined. However, once it was apparent that the water would be flowing, more families asked to be allowed to join. This has greatly increased the number of people who are benefiting from the work by more than 15 households.

In addition, now that it is the rainy season and the flow from the creek is high, the water overflows the tank. With this surplus of water, the people have had to let it flow off the side of the mountain. A community nearby has asked if there might be a way they could benefit from the surplus water, a proposal that Checute is considering moving forward. The community is more united as a result of having worked together to carry heavy rolls of hose over difficult terrain and all the other work required to make this project a reality. These are welcome developments that have made the benefit of building this water system much more than anticipated.

During the celebration of the completion of the project the people expressed their deepest gratitude to Mike and Carla Boyle for having come from so far away to meet them and for their having sponsored the project. They were moved that people from a world away so to speak would care to help them improve their lives.

We extend our thanks to Tamara for completing this important project, and again thank the Boyles for their generosity in providing the funds for the project..

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico

Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico Conclusion of Checute Water System Project - Mexico

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Agua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico

Agua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico

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This project in the Sierra Madres of Chiapas has been COMPLETED! 
Read about its conclusion below (or CLICK #Conclusion)

The project was made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoLocation
Agua Prieta, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Agua Prieta is home to 685 people living in 140 households. The village is located on the warmer, coastal side of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. In the evening, the lights of the small city of Huixtla are visible from the coffee groves a short walk up the mountain from the settlement. The road is paved from the turnoff from the highway to about a kilometer from Agua Prieta.

People in the community do not have opportunities for adequate employment. Most families grow corn, beans, bananas and small gardens for their own use, and the women raise a few chickens. Some families grow coffee on a small scale as a cash crop but in recent years this has not provided income due to the roya pest that has decimated production in the region as temperatures continue to rise.

A few families have small storefronts or outdoor food stands that cater to people in the community or local travelers. Many families have grown children working in the factories in Tijuana who send money home to help maintain the rest of the family. The quality of life in this quiet community can be characterized by the poverty, malnutrition and lack of opportunities that is typical of the Sierra Madre region in Chiapas, Mexico.

Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoProblem Addressed
Decades ago the government built a good water system that served what was a smaller population at the time. Two catastrophic hurricanes in 1998 caused irreparable damage to the steel pipe in sections. The people pieced sections of PVC pipe as best they could but Hurricane Stan in 2005 and the wear of time have caused it to break in so many places that is it unserviceable. They have tried to patch it with pieces of inner tubes from old tires. There are three schools in the community that provide K-middle school education. There is not enough water to meet the needs of the students and teachers.

The village is far from the municipality of Motozintla to which it belongs. Though they have tried to obtain assistance to repair their system from the city for years, with recent announcements of drastic cuts to public funding coming from the Federal government, the people consider their only hope to be to request assistance from The Sexto Sol Center and Water Charity to repair and upgrade damaged parts of the existing infrastructure in order to make it serviceable after so many years.

Status of existing holding tanks and dam
The water system draws from two sources both of which reliably flow through the dry season. The source that is higher up the slope collects water from a stream which then flows into the catchment dam along with water from a spring that is the second source. The water then flows downhill to a large stone and concrete tank that is 5 by 6 meters in size, large enough to hold a good volume of water. All three structures are cracked and no longer hold the water. Water from that large tank flows downslope to a distribution tank that is still in good condition.

Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoProject Description
This project is to rebuild the water system in Agua Prieta.

To make the system serviceable will require repairing the inner surfaces of two tanks, fortifying the damaged catchment dam, and replacing the old PVC pipe with 2-inch polyduct hose in three sections which connect the source to the tanks and carry it to the community.

The hose will be buried to prevent animals from damaging it and keeping it safe from damage from the sun or vandals. The polyduct hose is a superior material for this purpose and is sourced from a factory that manufactures it from 100% post-consumer waste plastic.

The community is well organized and people are committed to working together to complete the project. There are a couple of experienced masons in the community who will do the repairs on the structures while the others lay down the hose.

The Comité del Agua is the formal group charged with overseeing the distribution of the water to all households. They are hopeful that with this project, finally the challenge of maintaining such a deteriorated system will be over. They are looking forward to working together to make the needed repairs so that all families will have reliable access to water for the first time in many years.

The Sexto Sol Center will organize logistics, and, provide the materials and technical assistance required that the community needs to make this much-needed improvement for the benefit of all.

Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoProject Impact
685 people
will benefit from the project.

Project Manager
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The community will monitor the condition of the improvements, and promptly make repairs when required.

Comments
This project is part of 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. These projects are designed and implemented by Water Charity and local NGO the Sexto Sol Center for community development. (This is the ninth project to be directed by Sexto Sol.)


Hosing in transit
CONCLUSION REPORT

Tamara Reports:

WorkerFinally, after so many years of difficulty, the water is now coming into the 140 homes in tropical Agua Prieta

 

This spring was exceptionally dry in the region so the men decided to build a new catchment dam higher up in the forest than originally planned.  In the rainy season, storms fill arroyos with muddy water full of gravel and sand.  Years of severe tropical storms had damaged an open tank that had originally been constructed to gather the water and allow the gravel, rocks and sediment to settle before clearer water could be directed to the main holding tank.  The men had to build two new walls and resurface other parts so that the water would be contained in the structure.  Now water from the two sources flows through it.

 

Working together, the community laid down the water hose that replaced the sections of old PVC that had splintered from exposure to the elements.  The hose we provided is more resistant so it is expected to last for many years into the future.    

 

The project was delayed when a coffee farmer unexpectedly asked for an unreasonable amount of money to allow the hose to pass through his coffee farm.  After some good problem solving dialog he finally acceded to thGrandma and Kidse common good and allowed the water to pass through without charging the community.

 

All of this effort has created a viable system that will provide potable water for the over 600 residents for years to come. 

The Commisariado Ejidal, Adolfo Perez, leader of the community sends his heartfelt thanks to all who made it possible for them to finally live a more dignified life by having water pipped into their homes. 

 

We thank Tamara and our crew of workers there in the Sierra Madres of Chiapas, Mexico for all the fine work we have done together in our Sierra Madre Water Program

This is important work for a community of people who are too often overlooked.  


Fundraising Target
$4,200

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date
$4,200

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 go to future projects in Mexico and Guatemala.

 

Hose deliveryHose Delivery 2
Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico

Agua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - MexicoAgua Prieta Water System Project - Mexico
CementSpring Box Work

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Miguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

Miguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

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

Miguel Aleman Water Project - MexicoLocation
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 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.

Miguel Aleman Water Project - MexicoThis 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 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 PVC pipe where the line crosses the river and 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.

Fundraising Target
$2,900

Donations Collected to Date
$2,900

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.

Miguel Aleman Water Project - MexicoMiguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Miguel Aleman Water Project - MexicoMiguel Aleman Water Project - Mexico

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