Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project – Guatemala

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.

Chuquexa I School, Solola, Guatemala

Community Description
The village of Chuquexa I is located about 100 km west of Guatemala City astride the Pan American highway in the central highland mountains at about 8,000-foot elevation. The village has a population of about 2,100 individuals.

The school has a population of about 430 students and 14 teachers. The school is divided into two locations about 200 yards apart.

Village life is centralized around agricultural activity, with some small businesses and home artisan activities such as carpentry, weaving, and metal fabricating. Unemployment is very high, aside from the constant need to tend fields for food production. Many households depend upon funds sent by members of the family working in the US. In general, funds are limited in the village.

The village has a number of churches mainly evangelical and Catholic. There are some traditional Maya religious activities practiced in the community.

The village is governed by a village committee. The main decision-making process is done in open village meetings directed by the committee. Decisions are made by consensus and not by the 51% rule. Various sub-committees are formed from the village to deal with issues arising in the school, roads, and water systems.

Funding for projects is normally arranged by way of various sources such as the mayor of Solola, Department Development Committees, and private and international institutions. Villagers are normally required to give manual labor to village projects as part of their civic duty. An accurate account is kept by the village committee of these contributions to ensure all give equally.

Problem Addressed
Due to the persistent lack of funds in the community, maintenance is a major problem in the school. The bathroom doors and toilets are in need of replacement or repair. Access to hand washing stations is limited. The entrance to the bathroom area is poorly constructed and has serious problems with drainage that impairs the entrance during rains.

Project Description
This project is to renovate the bathroom at the school. All of the 13 doors to the bathroom, as well as all of the toilets, will be repaired or replaced.

The water storage tanks on the roof will receive new float valves and their plumbing repaired. In addition, drains will be installed in the bathroom area to carry away the stormwater, and a cement slab will be poured over the area in front of the bathrooms.

Additional handwashing stations will be added to facilitate hygiene training and activity such as tooth brushing and school maintenance.

Training will be given to the parent’s committee on the process to maintain the toilets and doors.

The parents committee will provide all of the manual labor for the project and provide sleeping quarters for the masons and feed the masons during the project.

Project Impact
444 students and staff at the school will benefit from the project. The entire community of 2,100 people, including family members, will indirectly benefit.

Project Administrator
Lynn Roberts, Executive Director, Agua Para La Salud

Monitoring and Maintenance
Alberto Xoch Yaxon is the APS supervisor in Guatemala and has been in contact with the village in the initial assessment of the school conditions. He has worked successfully with APS for the last 19 years. He lives in the general area of the school and is well known by the local communities for his past work with the Peace Corps Healthy Schools project and projects with other donors. Alberto will supervise and monitor the project and be in charge of instructing the parent’s committee on the maintenance of the facilities.

Let Girls Learn
Unsecured bathroom doors and poor toilet conditions add to the low motivation to attend school, especially among girls. The project will provide for a healthy and safe environment that will encourage girls to attend and remain in school.

This project has been funded by the Paul Bechtner Foundation.


Conclusion of Chuquexa I School Bathroom Project – Guatemala

This project has been completed under the direction of Lynn Roberts, of Agua Para La Salud. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to renovate the bathroom at the school.

To read Lynn’s final report, CLICK HERE.

Lynn concludes:

The villagers, teachers and children of Chuquexa I School are extremely pleased with the results of the project funded by Water Charity. The hygiene practices in the school were immediately observed to improve and also motivated the teachers to increase their hygiene training of the students with the new and improved facilities.

We extend our thanks to Lynn for completing this important project.