Blessing the first system in Pozo Hondo
Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,
In our last update, we were putting the finishing touches on our rainwater harvesting projects in the communities of Pozo Hondo and La Vaciada. Rainwater systems are badly needed in these communities, which suffer from seriously unhealthy levels of arsenic and fluoride in their drinking water supply – roughly four times the World Health Organization recommendations. In the long term, arsenic and fluoride are correlated with dental and crippling skeletal fluorosis, skin disease, cognitive development issues in children, kidney failure, and numerous cancers. Rainwater is naturally free of these minerals.
So, in response to this situation, concerned members of these communities, mostly women, stepped forward to organize and build 25 rainwater harvesting systems with Caminos de Agua. Thanks to the Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation and GlobalGiving supporters like you, we were able to provide the materials for all of the systems and an extensive training and education program.
The communities are part of a larger network called United Communities for Life and Water (CUVA-PAS), which represent more than 20 rural villages in the most impacted region of our watershed. In late January, Pozo Hondo and CUVA-PAS organized a massive celebration and inauguration. More than 200 people from nearly 20 rural villages came to celebrate. Representatives from every single community spoke and some even sang songs written especially for the occasion.
The work of the families has gained the interest of the rest of the community in Pozo Hondo, which has more than 300 families in total. Seeing the impact of contaminated drinking water on children, the local elementary school reached out to Caminos de Agua and asked if we would be able to provide educational programs for all of the families and build rainwater systems for the school. This past month, we began a new multi-stage educational program with the 30+ mothers in the elementary school and will be developing new materials through this program. We plan on breaking ground on two new rainwater harvesting systems for the schools in the coming weeks.
There are still hundreds more families in Pozo Hondo and La Vaciada – and 10s of thousands more throughout the region – who need drinking water solutions like these. We are grateful to our partners like CUVA-PAS and INANA, A.C. who helped organize and administer this project and to the dozens of families who provided all of the labor on these systems, which took more than 5,000 hours to build in total. And we are especially thankful to the Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation and GlobalGiving supporters who made this project possible. Please consider a donation today to help us keep this work alive and moving.
Dylan Terrell and the Caminos de Agua team
Cutting the ribbon in Pozo Hondo
More than 200 make their way to the celebration
Singing songs to celebrate rainwater!
New workshops underway in the elementary school
Learning how rainwater systems work at the school