Conclusion of Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Lazaro Chiguil Elias Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Browne.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to construct a handwashing station at the school.

Lauren reports:

Scope of the Project
Financial help from Appropriate Projects paid for all the construction materials. The skilled labor was contributed for a fair price and paid for by parents, and the unskilled labor was contributed free of charge.

A large handwashing station was built with a final total of 10 faucets, 3 of which were reutilized from the original handwashing station and 7 of which were added on. Now, the 153 students and 7 teachers of the school will have easier access to water. This will ensure that all the students are practicing the necessary healthy habits, such as washing their hands after using the bathroom and before eating the school snack, in addition to brushing their teeth after snack.

How the Work Progressed
The school was granted permission by the Committee in charge of the community well to connect 5 faucets to that water source. The Committee of Potable Water authorized the connection of the other 5 faucets to the community’s natural spring.

I went to the store, with the mason and the school principal, to buy the vast majority of the materials on January 18, 2012. The mason and his assistants initiated their work on January 20th. From January 20th to the 29th, they connected the main drainage tubes of the handwashing station to the existing school drainage and constructed the base of the handwashing station. The outer walls were constructed with iron bars and solidified with cement to increase stability. The inside of the base was filled with a mixture of gravel, cement, and sand. From January 29th to February 5th, they connected the faucet pipes to the water source and finished off the rest of the handwashing station with cement. On February 20th, the steel doors were put on the handwashing station, in order to access the handle used to control the flow of water and the drainage that will need to be cleaned.

In total, the mason worked 10 days, his 2 assistants worked 5, and 15 non-skilled helpers worked 5. Parents donated the funds to pay the mason (500 Q) and his helpers (200 Q). The parent helpers donated their time.

End Result
The funds from Appropriate Projects paid for all the construction materials, and we were able to construct a new handwashing station with a total of 10 faucets.

On February 23, 2012, the school held an event for the Inauguration of the Handwashing Station. Students participated in special activities planned by the teachers, related to hygienic practices and healthy habits. Afterwards, a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of the handwashing station. All the students and teachers, some parents, the superintendent of the district, and I attended.

Quotes from the Community
“This handwashing station allows us teachers to reinforce healthy habits, such as hand washing before eating and after using the bathroom, teeth brushing, and other hygienic habits. Thank you Water Charity for supporting a project that will greatly benefit our children. We have been a Healthy School since 2000, and thanks to this project, we will continue fighting for the health of our little boys and girls.”
-Miriam Yolanda Maldonado Amezquita de Lopez, Principal

“On behalf of all the boys and girls of the Official Rural Mixed School “Lazaro Chiguil Elias”, Canton Xeta Cabaj, we thank your foundation Water Charity for donating the money needed to complete the multi-faucet project that will serve our school. Once again, we thank you for the great support provided to improve our childhood. May God bless you today and always.”
-Wendy Osmarita Sajche Chay, 6th grade student

We wish to thank Lauren for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust and Lauren’s friends and family for providing the funding.