Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

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

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayLocation
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.

Barrio Xxx Xxxxx, Maria Auxiliadora, Arquitecto Tomás Romero Pereira District, Department of Itapúa, Paraguay

Community Description
Xxx Xxxxx is a small agricultural community in the southern department of Itapúa, nestled within what remains of the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest. 2017 unofficial census data reports that 36 families and over 200 people live in the community, with many more children that commute from surrounding communities to attend the school which offers primary and an accelerated high school program.

Most families are subsistence farmers, with their primary source of income based around the production of soy, wheat, corn, beets and carrots cultivated for exportation. The community’s small producers and women’s committee also produce a variety of animal products and artisanal items that they sell locally and in the nearby pueblo of Maria Auxiliadora. Much of social life revolves around the church and school events, community organizational group meetings, and soccer games that are held most Sundays.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayProblem Addressed
While most highly populated areas in Paraguay have access to running water, there are still many interior communities that lack access to potable water, resulting in higher rates of illness, inappropriate waste management, and poor sanitation practices.

Many families in Xxx Xxxxx have a shallow common well on their property or are within walking distance of one, but recurring dry summers have made it so that a reliable water source is not always available for drinking, animal care, or crop production. Intensively farmed soy and unsustainable farming practices have resulted in substantial water contamination. Disease from waterborne illness is a consistent issue for many families.

The community school has been without running water for much of its existence, affecting more than 200 children. While the students often bring their own water by bottle, they tend to commute to the school by foot and often exhaust their water rations before class starts, with no way to refill their bottle for the rest of the day. This is the main concern of the community, which affects families living inside and around the proposed water system.

For the past decade, the community had been working with the national organization SENASA to establish a well, tower, and water line system that would reach community houses, a church, and school. Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, the community had been left with an unfinished system attached to a dry well at the end of the government project in 2004. That project left more than 6 kilometers of connected and installed water lines off the main road in the community. The neighborhood has since completed another well with the help of the municipality, but funding has been stretched thin, considering the neighborhood is one of many that have the same problem in the district.

Project Description
This project is to complete the water system, including installing a pump on the well, building a water tower and tank, and installing water lines to the remaining houses in the community.

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayThe well and tower site are on the properties of community members that have agreed to donate the use of their land to house the well-system, lines, and tower.

The well was excavated in 2016 at a depth of 120 meters with water pressure at 12,000 liters/hour (as of testing date 07/05/2017).

The primary components of the project will be to:

(1) Coordinate with the water commission leaders, the local municipality, and the well company’s engineer to equip the well with a motor and transformer

(2) Erect and connect the 15,000-liter steel water tower to the well system

(3) Utilize a government-donated backhoe to excavate and install short distance water lines to the remaining 16 of 36 community properties that are not already connected to the system

(4) Work with community leadership to establish water system management techniques, and water hygiene and quality standards

Maria Auxiliadora Water Project - ParaguayMaria Auxiliadora Water Project - Paraguay

Water Charity funding will be allocated to cost of the electric submersible 3 HP/220 Monofasico motor with a 1.25 inch, 10 kg pressure internal pipe, a 10 Kva transformer with concrete post and electric meter, 280 meters of 16 mm copper cable, 7 hardwood posts, and necessary electrical installation/ documentation with national electric company

The construction of the 15,000-liter steel tank, tower, grounding rods, beacon, transportations fees and subsequent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water lines will be the responsibility of the community and municipality who have agreed to contribute this financial and labor intensive support to the project.

A series of workshops on effective leadership and organization will be conducted, facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), covering topics related to water system management, organizational transparency, and accountability standards. Through these workshops, the commission and community members have the opportunity to develop and implement a long-term management plan for the water system, resulting in a stronger relationship of respect and trust among the community members that will ensure the longevity of the water system.

Project Impact
400 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteers Directing Project
R. Rasmussen and R. Martinez

Monitoring and Maintenance
Currently serving PCVs will continue to monitor the project through the end of their services (December 2017), but the main focus is placed on the community’s water commission to conduct long term management of the water system and its continued maintenance.

Long term sustainability will be achieved through the following steps:

(1) The establishment of a sustainable long-term water system maintenance plan and payment schedule, agreed upon by community members

(2) Commission leadership participation in and co-facilitation of educational workshops with PCVs and community members on the workings of the water system and its long-term management

(3) Conducted workshops (facilitated through the current PCVs) with commission leaders on effective organizational leadership, focusing on the importance of accountability, communication, and transparency

(4) Collaborative teachings (facilitated by community leadership and current PCVs) at the school that focuses on water quality, hygiene, and the prevention of water borne illness.

The water system will be installed by an engineer from a reputable company and will provide the community with a 1-year system guarantee and continuous on-call maintenance support.

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

Funds Needed : 

Barrero Pyta Modern Women's Bathroom Commission Project – Paraguay

Barrero Pyta Modern Women's Bathroom Commission Project – Paraguay

Under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Carroll Wallace, this project is to build 15 modern bathrooms in Barrero Pyta, Paraguay.

Barrero Pyta sits on the sides of Ruta 8 in the South of the Department of San Pedro in Paraguay. There are about 150 houses and a high population of youth under the age of 26.

Barrero Pyta Modern Women's Bathroom Commission Project – Paraguay

The people received both running water and electricity within the last 15 years. The majority makes their living in agriculture, small business, and teaching. There is a high school, an elementary school, two local radio stations and a soccer field.

In Paraguay, waste management and sanitation are dire issues, especially in rural areas. In some places there are no means of waste management. More often, people use poorly constructed latrines nearly full with waste, and lack the education to practice sanitary habits and the money to properly maintain their latrines.

The Sanitary Bathroom Commission began in March 2009 with over sixty members. Presently, the group has only fifteen members. These women continue to believe their project will come to fruition, and patiently work toward the construction of a modern bathroom in each of their homes.

Currently, the commission sells food, fabric softener, and detergent and hosts movie nights for the community in order to raise funds. Additionally, each woman pays a monthly fee to maintain her commission membership.

Barrero Pyta Modern Women's Bathroom Commission Project – Paraguay

The construction of modern bathrooms and the implementation of health lessons will prevent the spread of diarrhea, a leading cause of death among children around the world, lessen the presence of intestinal parasites, and ensure increased sanitary control of human waste.


The community members will contribute to the cost of the project by providing their own transportations of materials, the cost of manual labor, and the assistance of at least one person in each family to aid the construction worker with the completion of the bathroom. Lastly, each family will be responsible for purchasing and preparing the food for those doing the manual labor.

The project will benefit about 75 people, consisting of the participating women and their families.

To see a video of Carroll’s work on latrines in the community, CLICK HERE.

$0.00 - The Water Charity portion of this project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Carroll of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.

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

Funds Needed : 

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - Paraguay

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - Paraguay

Potrero Reduccion is a community located in central Paraguay, about 5 kilometers from the town of Itape and about 25 kilometers from Villarrica.

The only school in the community lacks running water and a bathroom. Teachers and students must retrieve water and use a latrine a distance from the school.

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - Paraguay

This project is to provide the school with running water and a bathroom. This has been an ongoing project for the past few years, but has been stalled for lack of funds to complete it.

The project will be carried out under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Adam Montgomery.

The community has already built a room for the bathroom and has also acquired several key materials for the completion of this project.

Project funds will be used to buy the lacking materials to fully complete the project.

The bathroom will include three private stalls (3 commodes), one sink, one shower, and lighting.

The school currently has an artesian well located about 30 feet from the proposed bathroom that they use to retrieve water.

Water will be pumped from the well to the bathroom. The water is potable, and a spigot will be installed at the school garden along with the faucet in the bathroom

Bathroom waste will pumped to a secluded area located at the site of the old latrine in the back of the school.

170 people will benefit from theproject, including the 40 students and 5 teachers at the school and the rest of the community that regularly uses the school for community events.

Potrero Reduccion Bathroom Project - Paraguay

This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any donations using the Donate

 button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Paraguay.



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

Funds Needed : 

Sanitary Bathrooms Project – Paraguay

Family - UruguayWater Charity is participating in a project to provide sanitary bathrooms in a small rural community in Paraguay. The project is being carried out under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Michelle Pfister.

This project will provide latrines for 21 families, comprised of 120 adults and children. It is a natural extension of a project that was begun in 2008 under the direction of a prior Peace Corps Volunteer working in the community. All construction work will be done by local professionals.

Barrio Maria Auxiliadora, Calle San Francisco, Guayaivi, San Pedro, Paraguay, is home to approximately 112 families, comprised of 650 people. While Guarani is the most commonly spoken language, the majority of the community also speaks Spanish.

Unsanitary Latrine - ParaguayThis hard-working, well-organized community has an elementary and high school, a successful agricultural cooperative, various community groups/committees, two churches, small family shops, and soccer fields.

Most homes have running water and electricity. The principal economic activity is agriculture. Farmers primarily produce fruit, such as bananas and pineapples, and the average family income is about US $5.00 per day.

Although educational opportunities for children have improved, the average adult has only an elementary school education.

Intestinal parasites are one of the most serious health problems in Paraguay, affecting more than 90% of the country’s children, including most people in this community. According to a recent community census, nearly half the families lack a bathroom, and 85% of latrines are unsanitary.

An unsanitary latrine directly contributes to the presence of parasites, through exposed feces and flies that are attracted. This impacts on the entire community, with children more heavily affected.

Michelle Pfister, PCV - Paraguay

The project is being implemented by committee participants, who attend regular meetings, organize fundraisers, pay monthly dues, and participate in Peace Corps-organized health classes.

A Paraguayan NGO is contributing 38% of total project costs. To ensure community ownership and sustainability, participants are contributing one third of the cost of materials and labor. The remaining funds for materials are being provided through donor contributions.

This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Michelle Pfister of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Michelle and/or those of her counterpart PCVs in Paraguay.

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

Funds Needed : 

Women’s Community Center Project – Paraguay

Paraguay MapThis is part of a larger project to construct a women’s community center in rural Paraguay. Water Charity’s funds will be used to complete the water and sanitation portions of the project, and, more particularly to purchase the materials and fixtures needed to accomplish this.

This is our first project in Paraguay, a South American country with over 6 million people. Paraguay shares borders with Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. In rural areas, over 40% of the people lack a monthly income to cover basic necessities,

This project will be carried out by the committee Oñondivepa ‘all together’. A modest multi-purpose center will be built in order to create the first, and much needed, bread bakery in their community. Future plans include the making of other food products, soap and clothing, as well as more ambitious goals like computer classes.

Peace Corps Volunteer Matthew Lebon, who is administering the effort, states:

This project marks an exciting moment for Paraguayan women, as it boldly challenges strictly defined gender roles and seeks to confront numerous challenges seen in today’s agriculture-based communities. A lack of access to capital and the laborious responsibilities of managing a household without appliances like washing machines and microwaves leave women with few opportunities to leave their homes, reach out to neighboring women, and improve upon their quality of life.

Paraguay Landscape

A practical solution, which taps into their entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities, starts with their own gathering place, located in the community. Its construction will be not only the launching pad for their bread bakery, but also a place for educational activities, experimentation, future planning, and female bonding.

To make this a reality, the women have already raised significant capital to buy the property and pay for the title. The community participation in this project is over 33%.

Additionally and quite significantly, their husbands have committed to greatly assist with the center’s construction, while supporting the concept without reservation.

We are pleased to be able to participate in this great project. In addition to the potential economic benefit to families in the community, it has value in creating a platform to demonstrate that women are capable of taking action to control their futures.

The Water Charity participation in this project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Matthew of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.


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

Funds Needed : 
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