Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta La Muchacha Handwashing Station Project – Guatemala

Municipality of Patzicia, Department of Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Community Description
Patzicia is a medium-sized municipality of Chimaltenango with roughly 20,000 inhabitants in the urban center and outlying rural communities. The majority of the population is of Mayan descent (specifically Kaqchikel Mayan) with roughly 20% of Spanish descent.

The primary source of income in the community is agriculture-based and year-round cultivation of beans, corn, and various vegetable and fruit crops is practiced.

The school La Muchacha serves as one of 3 public primary schools in the urban area of Patzicia. It has two primary school sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to serve a greater percentage of the population.

Together, the schools currently serve 1028 students and roughly 350 families in the community.

The school has been involved in the Healthy Schools program for over a year and has already seen great improvement both in the children’s health and in the level of health education in the school.

All teachers now give at least 2 health classes a week and have classrooms equipped with all the utensils necessary for practicing healthy habits, making it easy for students to practice them daily.

The current difficulty is the water situation, as there are not enough faucets to accommodate the large population of the school. The school currently only has 3 faucets for the practice of healthy habits.

Project Description
This project is for the construction of two wall-style handwashing stations to be used in both school sessions.

The school currently has constant access to water through the municipality source and a storage tank. It also has functioning toilets, but currently only has one faucet and a large concrete water basin for the 500 students to use for hygienic practices and other school uses.

The handwashing station will consist of two concrete wall structures, each one consisting of 8 faucets. Each unit will be constructed principally of cement and iron rods, and will be placed against two walls of the school near the bathrooms to provide an easy reminder to students to wash their hands after using the bathroom.

Each handwashing station will measure roughly 320 cm x 50 cm x 60 cm. The hand washing stations will be connected to the existing drainage already in place for the faucet currently existing in the school.

The community will contribute the material needed to fill in the base, specifically rocks of various sizes easily found in the community, to save money on cement.

Unskilled labor will also be provided by the community and parents of children attending the school. The school has also agreed to contribute a portion of funds through their school budget and money saved from various fundraising. The mayor’s office has also contributed a portion of the funds necessary for project completion.

Project funds will be used to purchase materials and pay wages to a skilled mason, one who has completed 4 other handwashing station projects throughout Patzicia and in various rural communities.

Materials needed include cement, iron bars, and gravel for the basic structure, as well as faucets and their accessories, and a variety of PVC pipes for drainage. Materials will be purchased from local hardware stores in Patzicia.

Project Impact
This project will benefit the 1,028 students and 35 teachers that use the school, as well as roughly 350 families in the community served by the school.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Abigail Harper

This project will have a positive impact on the hygiene of the students, and thereby cause a reduction of gastrointestinal illness.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project 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 Abigail Harpoer of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Abigail and/or those other PCVs in the country of service.

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