La Rancheria Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

La Rancheria, Cabrican, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Community Description
Cabrican, Quetzaltenango, is located in the western highlands of Guatemala. By bus, it is approximately two and a half hours north of the nearest urban center of Quetzaltenango, the city of Xela.

The community of La Rancheria is one of the poorest communities in the municipality and consists of about 120 different families. It is an extremely rural area where the people make their living raising livestock and working in the field. Some are carpenters and/or builders, and some sell their products in the Sunday market.

Most adults have an elementary school education. The income is provided by the male of the household with the help of his sons while the women and girls take care of the domestic needs.

The project will be located at the school EORM La Rancheria, with over 160 students. The school and community are located in the mountains, about 2 miles from the center of Cabrican.

The community leaders are the mothers of the families. They are responsible for preparing healthy snacks daily at the school, where they rotate the schedule amongst each other.

The fathers as well are heavily involved in the school and together with the teachers, the parents make up a committee to support the school and meet its needs.

It is these fathers who will provide the manual labor for the project. Through their enthusiasm, the students now come to school clean, ready to practice healthy habits and with an eagerness to learn!

This year was the first year La Rancheria has been in the Peace Corps “Healthy Schools” program. The school has shown an understanding of the importance of healthy habits and is extremely enthusiastic about this project.

Project Description
This project is to build a handwashing station, consisting of 10 faucets, at the school.

In Guatemala, this type of project is called ‘churros de muro’ or ‘faucets of the wall.’ The 10 faucets will be right in a row with a catchment system underneath.

The school is connected to water, the source being a natural mountain spring. However, they are currently storing their water in rusty trash cans.

The school is separated into two buildings. Between the two there is sufficient space to implement the project.

Project funds will be used to buy materials needed, including cement, faucets, laminate, pipes, and blocks.

The members of the community, more specifically the fathers of the students, will be contributing the labor for the project.

Project Impact
This project will benefit the 160 students and 6 teachers at the school.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Grace Williams

The Healthy Schools program has been extremely effective over the years in helping schools reach and maintain a standard for health and hygiene. This type of handwashing station has contributed to the success, creating good habits in the children and reducing disease and illness.

It is always wise to continue to do what works. This project replicates a successful model, thereby ensuring that it will make a significant contribution to the community and the school.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now 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 Grace of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or other projects in the country of service.

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