Conclusion of Sonte School Project – Guatemala

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Dave Bowker. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

Dave reports:

The school in the rural village of Sonte Alta Verapaz, Guatemala now has a functioning system that allows children to wash their hands and brush their teeth within school hours. This is a very important improvement on the 24,000 liter rain catchment tank that was not being utilized effectively until after the completion of this pump system and 15 faucet hand washing station.

The project’s main focus was to make the existing rain catchment tank’s water more readily available to the children of the school. To do this, some improvements to the old system were needed.

First, the gutter system used to collect water off the roof of the school had to be replaced because it was rusted and broken. The new gutter system is plastic that will not rust and can be easily cleaned.

Second, the infrastructure for the hand washing station was nonexistent and needed to be built.

Third, on the top of the existing rain catchment tank minor adjustments were put in place to ensure the success of the project.

It took four days for the mason and fathers of the community to complete the 8 and 7 faucet hand washing stations. The community participated in the design and implementation of the project which helped make the project a sustainable success.

Luckily the school in Sonte has electricity. It was because of this that we were able to install the pump system that would feed the hand washing stations. The pump was set up on the top of the catchment tank to pull water from the cement tank into a 750-liter plastic tank that also sits on top of the cement catchment tank. From the plastic tank water feeds the hand washing stations via gravity.

In sustainable development community ownership for a project is a necessary component for continuing success and maintenance of a project. I believe that we achieved this ownership in building these hand washing stations.



Dave expressed his personal thanks, and the gratitude of the community, for the support of Water Charity, and, in particular the funding of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust, which enabled the project.