El Llano PAIN Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

El Llano, Patzun, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Community Description
El Llano is a small village with a population of around 600 people located 2.5 km from the town of Patzún. The population is 99% indigenous and people primarily speak the Mayan language of Kaqchikel. Almost all of the community members are farmers and rely on selling their peas, broccoli, cabbage and lettuce in the market in Patzún.

While this community does not have a lot of economic means, the members are very committed to their school. El Llano PAIN is a 2-classroom preschool program that works with 81 children between the ages of 0 to 6. Groups of about 30 children come each day during the week based on their ages.

The PAIN program is unique because the two teachers also spend time conducting home visits to work with mothers on helping the development of their young children in their homes, as well as work with expecting mothers to advise them on how to take care of themselves for their own health and that of their future children.

El Llano PAIN is one of 25 schools that work with the Healthy Schools program in the Municipality of Patzún. They are only one of two schools in the program that work wit

h such a young age group. They have proven their dedication to the program by coming up with creative ways to practice healthy habits with the kids and their mothers.

El Llano PAIN currently has access to only one faucet to be used for the children to practice healthy habits and for the moms to use to cook the school’s daily snack and to keep the school clean.

Last year the school received approval from the community’s Water Committee to connect to the community’s well. The Consejo de Padres de Familia de PAIN (Programa de Atención Integral) Caserio El Llano (Parent Committee) then installed connective tubing from this community water supply to a location at the school where handwashing stations could be built, and it constructed a seepage pit for the grey water drainage to go from future faucets.

Given the number of students, the school does not have enough infrastructure for the kids to practice all of the necessary healthy habits in a reasonable amount of time.

Project Description
This project is to construct 2 wall handwashing stations, with 4 faucets each.

The stations will be located directly outside the two classrooms and adjacent to the school’s small kitchen. To accommodate the small size of the young children, the height of the faucets will be 40 cm.

Project funds will go toward materials and for the professional mason. The community will provide all unskilled labor, as well as financial support to purchase five 12-foot wooden planks for the construction.

The parent’s committee has also already paid for and provided all the labor for the two previous projects related to this project.

A water infrastructure expert as well as a local mason have consulted with the group about the construction of the faucets.

As participants in the Healthy Schools program, the group will continue to practice all of the habits (washing hands with soap after using the restroom or changing diapers and before eating, as well as brushing teeth after snack) and work with mothers to model practicing healthy habits along with their young children.

Project Impact
The school currently serves about 50 families with 81 children, and the community is growing.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Laura Zachary

This project builds upon a tremendous amount of community support in building the infrastructure to make this last step a reality. It will allow the kids to practice healthy physical and dental hygiene, and solidify the participation of the school in the Healthy Schools program.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project now has 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 Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Zachary of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Laura and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

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