Las Mercedes Water System Project – El Salvador

Las Mercedes, Tacuba, Ahuachapán, El Salvador

Community Description
Las Mercedes is a rural village on the northern border of Parque Nacional El Imposible in western El Salvador in the department of Ahuachapán. Nearly 500 people live in the community which is remotely located on a mountain range that borders the 3,800-hectare nature preserve.

Despite its natural beauty, access to the community is limited due to its distance from the nearest town and the condition of the road.

The economy is based on coffee production, which leaves most people facing extreme economic hardship. Everyone grows corn and beans for consumption and some people harvest Pacaya to sell and eat.

Due to the production of coffee, the area is heavily forested. Therefore, natural springs are abundant and can provide a year-round source of water. The problem, however, is the distance between houses and springs. Some families walk up to an hour just to get to the nearest spring. These families have organized in order to solve their water problems.

Las Mercedes is a well-organized community. Two particularly active groups are the ADESCO (community development association) and the Las Mercedes Water Committee.

These groups have been working to make water accessible to everyone in the community. They have worked with NGOs in the past to construct rainwater storage systems and gravity-fed water systems.

The groups have been able to construct 28 rainwater storage systems and 2 gravity-fed systems. They are using the skills they learned during these previous projects to continue working with other families in the community.

Project Description
This project is the construction of a gravity-fed water system that will provide 6 families with potable water directly at their houses.

A filtration tank will be built at a spring to capture, filter, and store water. A filtration tank is a tank that contains a water outlet that is covered by layers of gravel and sand. The gravel and sand filter out any mud that may get washed into the tank. The filtration tank requires the purchase of cement, sand, and gravel.

The system will also use 1,000 yards of pipe to stretch the distance between the spring and the last house.

Since the water committee already has the necessary tools and the necessary PVC pipe for the filtration tank, as well as the connections for the pipe, project funds will be used to purchase 15 bags of cement, 1 cubic meter of sand, 1 cubic meter of gravel, and 1,000 yards of 1″ pipe.

The work will be managed by members of the water committee, as they are very experienced in water projects like this one.

The water committee also has clay water filters that each benefiting family will purchase for $5.00, and the water committee will train the families on how to properly use their filters.

The money from the filters will be used for any repairs the system may need in the near future.

Project Impact
This project will directly benefit 40 people living in 6 households.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jefferson Francisco

This project will increase the productivity of the families, because no more time will be spent carrying water to their houses. It is a natural extension of a proven system aimed at providing access to clean water for all residents.

The project will also impact on the health of the families by providing a safe and reliable source of water.

In addition, through the successful completion of the project, the water committee will strengthen its skills and ability to solve water problems in Las Mercedes.

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 Jefferson 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.