Sexto Sol

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

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. 

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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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CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

CABIOCHI Water Project - Mexico

NPCA and WC logos

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

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

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Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

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

Location
Cipresal La Cascada, Municipio Siltepec, Chiapas, Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCommunity Description
Cipresal Cascada is home to 146 families with 590 residents. The community is located deep in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico. Homes are spread out over the north-facing slope of rugged mountains. The community is located across a deep canyon that separates it from Santa Domingo La Cascada where Water Charity and the Sexto Sol Center successfully completed a water project in April.

The standard of living in this remote community is very poor. People make their living by growing coffee on small plots on the steep mountainside. In good years, coffee farming provides a meager income. Many families depend on the funds sent home from relatives working in the United States, leaving women to head the household.

Unfortunately, unusually high temperatures in recent years have resulted in the proliferation of a serious blight that has devastated coffee production, with serious economic consequences for peasant farmers throughout Chiapas and Guatemala.

Problem Addressed
Cipresal La Cascada is another of the many communities that have still not recovered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Stan in 2005. In their case, the disaster caused major landslides that effectively changed the landscape by blocking the course of the river they had previously used for their water source. The drought of the past couple of years has reduced the flow of springs and creeks near the communities that a few families were able to rely on previously.

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

At the time of this writing, the community is experiencing the extreme hardship of living without water while hoping for rain to bring temporary relief. The lack of water is a major factor contributing to the hardship of living in impoverished conditions in the Sierra Madre. When water becomes available, people immediately realize a better quality of life. It allows them to grow food gardens which help alleviate the malnutrition that is rampant in the region.

There are two schools in the community: an elementary school and a kindergarten that serves children aged 3 to 5 years old. The schools do not have water, which causes a lack of adequate sanitation for students, and makes life hard for the teachers who live there.

The community is concerned about retaining teachers given the remoteness of the location. They hope that by improving living conditions for them, specifically providing water for their needs, they will be more likely to continue teaching in the community. The water project will also provide water to the schools.

Project Description
This project is to build a system to provide water for the community. Fortunately, the river 3 km away from the community is a reliable source of good quality water. The water will be brought to the community through 2-inch poly-duct hose, connected to their existing holding tank.

Cement will be used to reinforce the interior surface of the tank, to build a catchment dam at the source and to build "rompedores" - small tanks that are necessary to slow the flow and reduce the pressure created when water races down steep grades. These structures also allow for the release of suction that builds in the hose.

To carry out the project, the Sexto Sol Center, a non-profit organization with 20 years of experience in the region, will coordinate and supervise the project until completion. The Sexto Sol Center team has already been working with the existing community committee responsible for overseeing water for the community for several months. This was done to reinforce the commitment of members to participate and strengthen leadership of the group which had not functioned in the recent past since they had no communal water system.Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Labor will be done by the men from the community who will work together to open a path through the steep forest, lay down the hose and build the structures needed. They have a plan in place to maintain the water line in the future.

Sexto Sol will organize the logistics of transporting the large rolls of hose from the factory on the coast and to the remote village of Cipresal La Cascada. The hose has a life span of at least 20 years, and is a low-cost material that conforms to the contours of the rugged terrain. The Sexto Sol Center sources the hose from a factory that uses recycled plastic to make it as part of their commitment to reduce solid waste in the estuaries and mangrove forests on the coast. The community will bury the hose several inches deep to prolong its life and protect it from animals and vandals.

As part of the support to be offered to the community Dr. Tamara Brennan will teach the women in the community how to manage their water wisely. Typically, the waste water from washing dishes and clothes is allowed to pool on the ground causing odors and other problems. She will encourage them to channel the waste water to feed plants and use it to expand their gardens. She will also teach the women how to turn discarded plastic into useful things for the home as a way to help the family economy and keep toxic plastic waste out of the watershed.

Project Impact
590 people will benefit from the project.

Project Manager
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The people of the community, and their water board, will be responsible for care and maintenance of the new water system.

Sexto Sol will return to the village on occasion to monitor the system and assist with maintenance as needed.

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 seventh project directed by Sexto Sol.)

Fundraising Target
$5,700

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

Donations Collected to Date
$5,700

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.

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

 

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal La Cascada Water System Project - MexicoCipresal La Cascada Water System Project - Mexico

 

 

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Esperanza Water System Project - Guatemala

Esperanza Water System Project - Guatemala

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location
Esperanza, Guatemala

MapCommunity Description
Esperanza is a settlement located on the Guatemala side of the border in the Sierra Madre region of Central America. Over 15 years ago, the community joined together to create a water system to provide water for their homes.  The project was very ambitious and they had to overcome many logistical challenges given the steep terrain and long distance to reliable streams.   At that time they managed the difficult task by working together patiently until they succeeded in creating a water line 19 kilometers long. 

The water comes from three different rivers with some pretty ingenious solutions having been made on the spot in order to get the fragile PVC pipe across ravines and over rugged cliffs.  Two nearby communities in Mexico, Barrio Veracruz and Bacantón Altamirano, both in Municipio de Mazapa, also receive their water from this system.  

It is a very rugged area with vast amounts of sandy soil that does not hold up in the torrential seasonal rains.  Landslides are common.  Earthquakes are frequent and can be very strong as well. 

The people living in these communities are "campesinos", peasant farmers, who make their living by growing corn, beans and vegetables for their own use.  As is typical in this region, a few people have storefronts in their homes where they sell products to their neighbors but few people have paying jobs.   Many people grow vegetables that they sell at the local markets in Motozintla or Tacana. 

Most homes are made of adobe with corrugated metal roofs.  Young people look to the possibility of immigrating to the United States to find work as their only way to improve the quality of life for their families, earn enough to make it possible to build a cinderblock house or buy a used truck that would give them better options to create work for themselves. 

Esperanza WomanProblem Addressed
In 2005, Hurricane Stan, a catastrophic event in Central America, caused a great deal of damage to the water system they have not been able to repair to date.  The landslides from the heavy flooding broke sections of pipe that no longer can be patched to keep them working. 

The hurricane caused heavy damage to the many cement tanks that were originally built to slow down the force of the water as it rushes down slope.  The lack of water is a great hardship to the families, especially since it is very far to walk if they were to try to carry water by bucket for domestic use. 

Work teams currently have to go along the 19 km every couple of days to figure out where the latest problem has caused the water to stop arriving to the homes.  They replace broken PVC pipe and upgrade the catchment dams and other structures that have cracked and are no longer working well.  

Project Description
This project is to build a new water system for Esperanza.  The system will consist of an improved catchment system to capture the water at the source, a storage tank above the community, and a system of durable hose.  The hose, which has a 20+ year life span, is flexible, and conforms to the contours of the rugged terrain.

The project will consist of the men first working together to transport the materials from the road to where they will be needed.  That will be a challenge given how large the rolls of hose are and that there is only a walking path that takes them over very rugged terrain.  They will need to carry the cement by hand as well. 

Once these materials are in place, the next phase will be to replace damaged PVC with the polyduct hose.  In many places it will require the teams to pull the heavy hose across canyons and to secure it on cement posts were necessary. Then they will build new tanks and registers to replace those damaged by Hurricane Stan.  These structures will be built with a larger amount of cement than usual so that they will withstand any future severe weather events or earthquakes.  

broken pipeProject Impact
1,716 people will benefit from the project

Project Director
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The people of the community, and their new water board, will be responsible for care and maintenance of the new water system.

Sexto Sol will return to the village on occasion to check up on the project and its continued sustainability.  The villagers will also be able to contact Water Charity and Sexto Sol, in case they require additional assistance.

Comments
The work team is a group of people who are exemplary in their commitment to working together for the common good of all of the families that belong to their water association. 

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 sixth project directed by Sexto Sol.

Pipe over a rvineAs part of the project The Sexto Sol Center will work with the women to give them new ways to economize the use of water. This will include establishing ways to use grey water to avoid the contamination that usually happens when they simply let used water pool on the ground. They will be taught about how to use grey water for watering family gardens. If all goes well, the families will also be provided with fruit trees that will be watered with grey water. There will also be information provided on how to keep water clean and safe for domestic use.
 
Dollar Amount of Project
$5,800

 

Donations Collected to Date
$5,800

 

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

Donations over the project amount will be used for future projects in Mexico.

 

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

Kid from EsperanzaEsperanza
Pipe pathPipe over a valley
Esperanza farmOficina De Agua Potable

 

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Niquivil Water System Project - Mexico

Niquivil woman and her mule

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the National Peace Corps Association.

 
Location
Topographical map showing Niquivil's locationNiquivil, Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Mexico
 
Community Description
Niquivil is the largest community in the eastern part of the municipality of Motozintla.  The town is located at an elevation of 9,200 feet on the border with Guatemala and is home to 220 families.
 
Unlike other parts of the Sierra Madre, at this elevation it is not possible for people to grow coffee as a cash crop.  Most households grow vegetables, corn or potatoes on a small scale for their own use with surplus being sold.   The standard of living is very poor.  Since Niquivil is a border crossing, some households make a meager living by selling goods from Mexico to people in communities on the other side of the border.  Many families must depend on the money sent to them by a member of their family who is working in the U.S. as an undocumented worker. 
 
Problem Addressed
Many years ago, the government built a large holding tank for the community and put in pipe to bring water from a creek up slope.  Unfortunately, part of the pipe was stolen.  The community of 1540 people has been trying to get by with only a ¾ inch PVC hose to bring the water to the tank.  This is very inadequate for the needs of such a large population. 
 
Project Description
The project is to install hose to connect the spring catcment, where water is collected, to a water point in the village.
 
The existing holding tank is in good conditionThe town is located about an hour from Motozintla on a paved road.  The hose will be delivered to Motozintla and the people in the town will then ferry it to their community at their expense.  There are people with small trucks and the villagers can contribute a small sum for the gas.
 
This project will be completed quickly by the men from the community who will do the necessary work.  The hose will follow an established route from a functioning tank on the river to a functioning holding tank.  All that is needed is 3.4 kilometers of hose and residents will then be able to enjoy the improved quality of life that reliable access to water provides.
 
Project Impact
1,540 men, women and children will have reliable access to water for decades to come.
 
Volunteer Directing Project
Tamara Brennan
 
Monitoring and Maintenance
The town will be responsible for the care and maintenance of their new hose.  If problems arise that they are unable to deal with, Tamara's Sexto Sol office can be contacted and Water Charity would be happy to consider follow up projects that might be needed.
 
Houses in NiquivilComments
This project is part of a series of projects that Water Charity has undertaken in the region in concert with the Sexto Sol Center for Community Development.  Other projects in this ongoing effort to help some of the poorest people in Mexico can be found HERE.
 
Dollar Amount of Project
$4,100
 
Donations Collected to Date
$4,100
 
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle, of Nelsonville, OH, USA.
 
This project has been completed.  To see the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
 
 
Additional amounts will go to other projects in Mexico.

NiquivilThe pathway of the hoseReplacing the tiny hose with a larger sturdier hoseThe hose can be easily buried due to the soil and lack of ravines along the path.

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Progreso Water System Project – Mexico

Family in Progreso

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY, SEXTO SOL, and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location
El Progresso de ChiapasProgreso, Ejido Carizal, Municipio de Motozintla, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
A settlement of very modest homes in mountainous terrain SW of the city of Motozintla.  Poverty is the norm, and the conditions are somewhat rough for farming.

Problem Addressed
47 families have no reliable water source for domestic use and to irrigate subsistence crops. As is typical in this heavily deforested region, local springs in the Sierra Madre do not provide enough water to meet the needs of households located on ridges and mountainsides.

Many years ago, the people established a water line from a creek less than 2 km from their settlement.  A road project several years ago tore up the hillside, damaging the hose beyond repair, leaving them without enough water for their basic needs.  The water tank that had served the community was damaged in Hurricane Stan disaster in 2005 and suffered further damage from earthquakes.
 
The people in this community are very poor with most families relying on growing corn for their sustenance.  Their requests for help from the local authorities for the means to repair their water system  year after year have not meet with success.
 
The community needs a new hose line from the source and a more solid, reinforced tank from which the water will be distributed to the homes.  The people are anxious to have a reliable supply of water that will greatly reduce the hardship they now endure.  Excess water will be used to grow vegetables during the dry season. 

Children of the village

Project Description
There is a reliable source of water in the headwaters of the river 10 kms to the SW. The men from the community will work together to lay a line of 2" polyducto hose from the highest point of the river so that it has the pressure needed to bring water over the steep terrain to a large holding tank that will be built. 

 
Polyducto hose is what is typically used in this region given that the terrain requires it to follow curves in the topography. The supplier has stated that it has a life of decades, especially when buried under the surface as planned. Given the distance from the source to the homes, it is much more cost effective than PVC.
 
The men estimate that it will take 3 weeks to do the work of securing the hose which can only be delivered 3/4ths of the way to the site up a dirt road.   The men will carry it or use burros to get it the rest of the way.
 
In addition, two structures will be built. At the source we will build a small structure to stabilize the uptake since it will have to withstand intense flooding during the rainy season. The large holding tank will be located on the highest point nearest to the community so that individual lines can reach all homes with good pressure. There will be a 300 meter 2" hose coming from the tank onto which individual "brasaderas" valves will direct water to households.  
 
We have added into the budget 1 roll of 1/2" polyducto hose per household to help offset the cost to impoverished families that are suffering the impact of the loss of this year's corn crop to drought and the loss of cash crops to climate change for the past two years. The project will also help people save their corn crops in the event that another drought occurs and to raise vegetable gardens that Sexto Sol will teach them to grow.
 
Vilagers by their farm
The holding tank will be built from cinder block with rebar reinforced columns and beams according to time-tested construction methods in this region.  As part of the budget we'll hire an experienced builder whom we worked with who will supervise the building of the tank while the other men will provide labor on a voluntary basis.
 
The community has the necessary permission from the local ejido/authorities to use the river. They have agreed to  form a water committee to oversee the equitable distribution of the water and to provide regular maintenance of the entire water system. Typically, people waste a lot of water in their daily use of it. For this reason, everyone will be required to put a valve on the end of their line and to keep it closed when not using it.
 
Project Impact
Approximately 250 people will benefit directly, not to mention all future inhabitants of the village for decades to come.


Project Director
Tamara Brennen, Phd

Village elders

Monitoring and Maintenance
The people and their new water board will be responsible for care and maintenance of the new water system.  We are hoping the system will last for many decades to come, and that it will serve the villagers well as they grow and prosper.

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

As part of the project The Sexto Sol Center will work with the women to give them new ways to economize the use of water. This will include establishing ways to use grey water to avoid the contamination that usually happens when they simply let used water pool on the ground. They will be taught about how to use grey water for watering family gardens. If all goes well, the families will also be provided with fruit trees that will be watered with grey water. There will also be information provided on how to keep water clean and safe for domestic use.
 
Not long ago, our COO Averill Strasser and our ED Beverly Rouse visited the site and helped shore up the plans for this project as well as all the future projects in the Sierra Madre Water Program.  They can be seen enjoying themselves in photos below.
 
This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion of the project CLICK HERE.


Dollar Amount of Project
$6,300

Donations Collected to Date
$6,300

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 - This project has been funded through the generosity of the Paul Bechtner Foundation, with the help of other friends of Water Charity.

Additional donations will go toward funding other projects in Mexico.

Photo op Water Charity COO Averill Strasser & ED Beverly Rouse

Cooking facilitiesEl Progresso, Chiapas, Mexico

 

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

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

wc - npca logosThis project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
 

Location
Xelajú ChicoXelajú Chico, Barrio Reforma and Hector Paniaguas in Southern Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
The City of Motozintla is located in a deep valley formed by three rivers.  Heavy deforestation over 20 years ago caused so much damage to the watershed that rivers no longer flow as before and many springs have dried up.  More people have come to live in the city over time given the difficulties of living in the Sierra, including the challenges of not having enough water.  However, the amount of water available to the growing population in the city during the dry season is very low compared to the need.

The area of the project is a grouping of people from three adjacent neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city.  The people sustain themselves by engaging in  the following activities: Some look for contract work as laborers for construction, many are subsistence farmers who grow corn for their own use, and the women are homemakers.  Some have small stores in their homes that sell very basic items.  There are one or two teachers but the majority are peasant farmers.  They are families that suffer poverty and do not have disposable incomes.

The homes are made of adobe or cement block with metal roofs.  Women wash clothes by hand.   Most have a few chickens to augment the diet occasionally with eggs or to sell when there is a need for cash.  Most days they eat beans, rice, pasta and tortillas.

Map of the AreaProblem Addressed
The city does provide water to the population in Motozintla but in practice this means a small flow of water for a couple of hours about once month.  This is why the people chose to find their own solution to this lack of water in order to be able to live better.  There are water trucks but the cost is beyond reach of the families in these neighborhoods.

In 2007, the people living in three neighborhoods, Xelajú Chico, Hector Paniaguas, y Barrio Reforma joined together to find a solution to the difficulties caused by not having water.  Sixty very poor families began to work together and after 7 months of saving up bits of funds, finally had pooled enough money to buy a piece of land where a good spring flows.  They laid down a 2 inch hose over 11 kilometers of extremely rough terrain and for all these years since have enjoyed the success of their collective effort with enough water to satisfy their household needs.  This is a great example of the phrase "La union hace la fuerza" - unity is strength.

They formed a water cooperative committee to oversee the administration of their water system, organizing work crews as needed, and to maintain the water line in a cooperative manner.   For 8 years they have smoothly cooperated to keep the system functional. 
 
Unfortunately, on March 7th, a vandal set fire to the ridge where part of the hose runs, destroying over 2 kilometers of hose. This is a disaster for the neighborhoods which now have a population of over 400 people.  


Project Description
This project will provide them with the hose they need to quickly replace what was lost and eliminate this hardship. We will also upgrade their uptake at the source by providing them with a design created by the Sexto Sol Center to eliminate the problem of debris becoming stuck in the hose. The "pichancha" as it is called is also designed to function as a pump to increase the draw of water from the spring. At the source there is a small dam that causes the water to pool so that the hose will always be submerged.  

Water in home in Hector PaniaguasGiven the difficult terrain, the hose is buried closer to the neighborhoods but in the mountains conditions require that it be strung across ravines or sustained by trees or wire.  This is typical of the region.  For this region the stronger hose is required, "cedula 80."
  
There is no holding tank because the water goes straight to the homes via individual hoses.  So there is a portion of the larger hose that has 60 valves, each that connect to an individual hose of ½ inch diameter.  Working together the opened up the road to lay down the hoses and put cement on top to protect them.  This part of the system was not harmed by the fire, fortunately.  
 
They have an agreement that once a family's tank is full, the faucet must be closed.  In that way they insure that everyone receives water.  As part of their work, the committee in charge of the water periodically checks to be sure that no one is letting the water run unchecked.  This has worked well for all these years, and, as we saw, there are good relations between members of the water cooperative.  

There is no cost for the water but if something happens to the hose, they determine what is needed to repair it and divide the cost among the 60 families.  Their numbers make it easier for poor families to be able to pool limited resources.  However this disaster is beyond their reach at this time, especially since the economy has not recovered from the loss of coffee crop revenues in recent years and other factors.
 
Barrio ReformaProject Impact
Approx. 400 residents will immediately benefit.
 

Project Manageer
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.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The local water cooperative will be responsible for monitoring and maintenance.  Should problems arise, they can contact Sexto Sol and Water Charity for further assistance.

Comments
Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in 2010 in partnership with Water Charity.  This project is part of our larger Sierra Madre Water Program, Phase 1 - Mexico, of which, we have completed the Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico among others.  

Dollar Amount of Project
$3,600

Donations Collected to Date
$3,600

Dollar Amount Needed

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

 

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT 
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

This project has been completed.  To view the conclusion report & pictures CLICK HERE.

Family in Barrio Reforma

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Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico

Cipresal Water System Project - Mexico

NPCA - WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION. 

Location
Cipresal, Ejido Cipresal, Municipio de Motozintla, Chiapas, Mexico

Community Description
Cipresal is a remote settlement of very modest homes in mountainous terrain SW of the city of Motozintla.

Over 20 years ago the Sierra Madre watershed was heavily deforested. Local springs have dried up. The people are very poor and the lack of water causes much hardship.

Problem Addressed
Currently the community has an old water system that was built years ago, but it does not meet the needs of the population. Many households do not receive water.

Cipresal Water System Project - MexicoProject Description
This project is to create a new water system, consisting of a water line and holding tank, to substantially increase the availability of water for 45 households in Cipresal.

The project will be managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action, which serves impoverished communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. Sexto Sol previously completed the School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico in partnership with Water Charity.

The project was planned by, and will proceed under the direction of, the Patronato de Agua Potable de Cipresal. They have worked to find workable solutions to the technical challenges due to the terrain, and to assure that water reaches every home. It was determined that the water source at the river is reliable and appropriate for use by the community.

The first part of the project is the laying of the hose. The men from the community will work together to bury a 2-kilometer line of 2" polyducto hose from the highest point of the river so that it has the pressure needed to bring water over the steep terrain to a large holding tank that will be built. Polyducto hose is what is typically used in the region, given that the terrain requires it to follow curves in the topography. The product has a life of decades, especially when buried under the surface as planned. It is much more cost effective than PVC.

It will take a week to 10 days to secure the hose. The supplier will deliver it over the dirt mountain road to a point as close as possible to where it is to be placed.

The holding tank will be built from river rock, as it will result in a stronger tank than one built of cinderblock. The community will do the heavy labor of hauling rock from the canyon to a 3-ton truck that will then take it over the ridges to the community.

The construction of the tank will be supervised by an experienced mason.

The system will utilize smaller distribution tanks that already exist. Families have their own hoses in already place.

The large valves and floaters in each individual tank will be replaced, since the community does not have the resources to pay for them.

At the source, a small structure will be built to stabilize the uptake to withstand intense flooding during the rainy season.

The community has the necessary permission from the local ejido/authorities to use the river. They have the organization in place to make sure that the system is maintained and that the water is distributed equitably and used appropriately.

Technical workshops will be conducted by Sexto Sol. One will be about the importance of managing the watershed. This is significant, in that most families earn money by cutting firewood, without regard to the deforestation that is taking place.

Sexto Sol will obtain seedlings, and the men will plant pine trees on the deforested slopes.

The other training will involve working with the women to give them new ways to manage the use of water, and to keep water clean and safe for domestic use.

A future project will be to design a system for directing the greywater to fruit trees. This will prevent water from pooling on the ground, and will prevent mud, odors, and disease-bearing insects. The project will be accomplished by providing 2 meters of 2" PVC pipe to each household.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase materials, hire the truck to deliver rock and sand, pay for the skilled labor, and provide a modest stipend for the project managers.

Project Impact
230 people will benefit from the project.

Project Director
Tamara Brennan, Ph.D.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Sexto Sol Center will monitor the progress of the project until completion. The community will maintain the system, ensuring that there are sufficient funds on hand to perform any needed repairs.

Comments
The project will more than double the amount of available water coming into the community and will solve the current problem of unequal distribution to homes that exists today. It will make it possible for grown children to establish their own households, and will help people grow vegetable gardens despite drought conditions.

Fundraising Target
$5,500

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

Donations Collected to Date
$25

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT

Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you "naming rights", if that is something you would like.

Dollar Amount Needed
$5,475

This project has been completed.  It still needs funding, though.  To read about the conclusion CLICK HERE.

Cipresal Water System Project - MexicoCipresal Water System Project - Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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School Flooding Remediation Project - Mexico

School Flooding Remediation Project - Mexico

This is a project to remediate severe flooding at an elementary school, the Escuela Primaria "Estado de Colima, in El Male’ Chiapas, Mexico.

Mexico Map

This project is being implemented in partnership with the Sexto Sol Center, a U.S. 50(c)(3) non-profit, with a mission to contribute to the elimination of poverty and the restoration of the damaged environment by promoting cooperative enterprise, environmentally sound agriculture, appropriate technology and conservation. Since 1997 they have assisted rural people in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico and repatriated refugee communities in Guatemala.

The project is being managed by Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Sexto Sol’s Executive Director.

The school is located in El Malé, a community that former president Vicente Fox called the poorest town in Mexico. Two-hundred eighty children receive primary instruction at the school, and, along with the teachers and staff, will be the primary beneficiaries of the project.

At 10,000 feet elevation, the people grow potatoes, that they sell in the small city of Motozintla, or raise sheep. Mean household incomes are so low that nearly every family depends on the funds sent by a relative working in the U.S. The weather is very cold most of the year with very heavy rain for months. During the coldest months wet fog covers the region.

Puddles - Mexico

Flooding is a big problem at this elevation. The long roofs send a large volume of water sheeting down all day long.

According to Tamara:

The grounds of the school has poor drainage. Huge pools of standing water form that children must walk through to get to classrooms. The playground is inundated during days of heavy rains. The walkways are permanently wet and slippery. Mold forms on the buildings, roof and ground. The volume of water splashing off the roof corroded the metal doors to the bathroom. Classrooms have wooden floors that become wet and muddy which increases the humidity. The parents’ committee has identified this problem as the most urgent need to be met.

Given the poverty of the high country region, many children wear plastic sandals instead of proper shoes and nearly all suffer significant malnutrition. Without heat in the rooms, teachers tell us that they sometimes take children outside to sit when it stops raining because it is cold and damp inside the classrooms. The cold and malnutrition combined tax the energy of small children and affect their ability to concentrate and learn.

Project funds will be used to install rain gutters on the roofs of the classrooms with drainpipes leading to the street, where runoff will be channeled into a drainage ditch. These rain gutters, which comprise by far the largest project expenditure, will be custom made to accommodate the high amount of water that falls in a typical rain.

Kids in Door - MexicoThe implementation of the project has been coordinated to take into account the growing season, and the obligations that are placed on the community during this period. This will maximize their participation.

The parents have already done landscaping to reduce flooding. They will actively participate in the project, including the digging of a channel to catch the runoff and direct it off the site.

Water Charity is extremely pleased to be able to assist Sexto Sol, an organization that has been doing, and continues to do, such beneficial work in the community. This is our first project in Mexico, and we hope this will be the beginning of a strong relationship.

To contribute for this project, please use the Donate button below.

 

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

 

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