What if you had to choose between water to drink and water to wash your hands? What if water was really expensive and difficult to obtain? What if you were trying to protect your family from diseases like Covid-19? This is a terrible choice facing families throughout the world. With water so precious, families can’t afford to waste it. With the strong support from donors like you, Agua Pura has fought for over 10 years to help families have safe drinking water and the ability to protect themselves against disease. And, when the Covid-19 pandemic started, it only increased the urgency to provide that help. One simple solution we have provided is a large bucket that families can fill with non-potable water to use for hand washing with soap near a latrine or kitchen. It has a tap so that water can be dispensed slowly and not wasted. Families can then catch that wash water to water their gardens. When these hand washing stations are placed near a latrine they are used and families stay healthier and more protected against disease. In Mexico we started a campaign last fall to provide hand washing stations to vulnerable families in several parts of the country. Thanks to GlobalGiving donors, over 200 families- with more than 1300 women and children- have received the stations along with soap and locally made face masks. Community health workers distribute the supplies along with health programs for the families. When schools reopen in Mexico, we will expand our program to provide hand washing stations for them as well. Thank you again for your continued support over the last 10 years, and I hope that we continue working together in the years ahead.
Please let me know your opinions and ideas, I really appreciate hearing from you, our donors.
Dear friends and supporters- I want to share a quick update on our recent hurricane relief work. I recently wrote you about effects of the hurricanes that hit Central America last month. One community in Honduras that we have visited often was especially hard hit with their community water system destroyed and the families drinking water from the local streams., but with your support we were able to start helping rebuild their water system better and stronger than before. Unfortunately, the hurricanes and flooding damaged many communities throughout the region, including ones that Agua Pura knows well in Southern Mexico. GlobalGiving granted Agua Pura emergency funds to help with relief work and so we applied some of the grant money and $3000 more of your donations to helping families in 3 traditional Mayan speaking communities that were flooded and many homes destroyed. We worked through a local non profit, Diaconia Chiapas, whose members live and work in the area. They were well organized and quickly mobilized to provide emergency help to affected families with children and the elderly, including food aid and sanitary supplies such as soap and face masks. Though this is just temporary aid, it made a huge difference to the families that received it. After the flood waters subside and the families start rebuilding, Agua Pura will be there with them to assist with clean water and safe sanitation, and your continued support will make it possible. We thank you for your generosity and will keep you informed of our progress.
Rio Negro is a small community in the rugged northern region of Honduras. Recent hurricanes and flooding have devastated much of Central America with major damage and loss of life. In Rio Negro and surrounding communities there have been families swept away, many homes damaged and the local water supplies broken and contaminated. The town is isolated because of flooding and mudslides.
Agua Pura has visited Rio Negro many times and provided water purification supplies and water filters to the families and the school there. Through partner Honduran organizations we are trying to reach the area to bring aid and help to the families. Agua Pura is also raising funds here in the U.S. to send additional water purification supplies and for purchasing local materials in Honduras to rebuild and disinfect their water system. The need is immediate and desperate!
From now through the end of December all funds we raise on GlobalGiving will go to rebuild Rio Negro and its neighbors. Tuesday December 1 is “Giving Tuesday,” and GlobalGiving is adding matching funds on that day for new donations and additional donations from recurring donors. Can you consider an extra, additional donation now or on this Giving Tuesday? As always, 100% of your donations go directly to the families and communities we serve.
Thank you for your generous support in the past, and we hope you will consider helping families in Rio Negro in this season of giving.
Agua Pura partners with local organizations to support our work in Latin America. One of our long-time partners of 8 years is Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG), in Honduras. Over the years your donations have helped us with a range of projects providing water pasteurization indicators (WAPIs) and water filters to families and schools in Honduras. Recently, with the help of a Grant we received, we were able to broaden our impact by providing support for two larger projects in rural committees in the mountains of Western Honduras.
The first project, Water Purification Filters to Improve the Health of Families in Western Honduras, began in June 2020 and is nearly complete. This project provided 200 clay type water filters to families like that of Yolanda C. and 25 larger volume filters to local schools so the young children have safe water to drink. Agua Pura trained PAG staff in modern water testing methods to identify bacteria in local water sources and then helped provide educational workshops to teach families how to use, treat and safeguard their drinking water. These new filters are helping them to continue purifying their water and reduce illness.
The second project, Build Improved Combination Latrines and Hygiene Modules For Families In Honduras, also began in June 2020 and is also nearly completed. Agua Pura provided funding for materials for families who lacked adequate sanitation to build 15 combination composting latrines and hygiene stations in the municipality of Belen Gualcho, Honduras. This project is helping reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal diseases through better sanitation and hygiene. Providing improved latrines as well as facilities for hand washing and bathing helps protect families from infection including cholera and other viruses such as covid-19. Families not only received intensive training in sanitation and disease prevention, but took pride in building these new safe latrines.
With your donations we will be able to continue supporting our partners in providing cleaner water, safer latrines and improved hygiene for families living in poverty throughout Latin America.
Taking a water sample from a drinking water puddle
Agua Pura partners with organizations to support our work throughout Latin America. In Haiti, one of our partners is Haiti Compost Business (HCB), founded by one of our students, Hovard G. who studied water and sanitation in the US. He and teams of young volunteers do water testing and water purification projects in poor communities throughout Haiti helping them to have clean water and sanitation. Agua Pura supports them in their work. Hovard recently started a new project in an especially hard hit community in North East Haiti. Here is the report he sent telling us about it.
“Haiti’s lack of access to quality sanitation and water has hit most families all over the country. The government does not have a strong plan nor strategies to face those issues that affect millions of people. People who live in rural areas are the most vulnerable because access to the almost basic things are nonexistent. Haiti is one of the most vulnerable countries in the Caribbean with communities that still face water and sanitation issues. Gradually, things are getting more complicated with lack of water in many regions. Climate change is a big part of that issue. According to the World Bank, between 1990 and 2015, the share of the population with access to potable water decreased from 62% to 52%. Sanitation is also a critical issue; over the same period, access to enhanced sanitation installations only increased by 1% among the poorest in the rural areas. Among the urban poor, it actually declined by 3%. “Meillac is a poor community in the North East fo Haiti. In this area, the families face a serious lack of water. Sometimes a truck brings water that they can buy to use. For those who cannot afford to buy a bucket of water for 20 HTG are forced to get their water from polluted sources. A leader in the community explained that there were two wells with manual pumps. The water from the ground is salty. The pumps could not last because the salt from the water caused the pump line to decay faster.” Meillac is one of the newest communities that we have begun working with. That area confronts serious problems with the lack of access to water. Despite the pandemic covid-19, the HCB team went there and got some samples of different water sources. After analyzing those samples, we quickly made arrangements to bring our support to those people who are in need.”
Hovard and his team organized workshops in the community with the families. They showed the results of their water testing and talked with them about what they should do to keep their families safe. Families have different preferences so the team offered them different options including AquaTabs (chlorine tablets), chlorine (bleach) and the use of Water Purification Indicators (WAPIs) and trained them in safe use. Hovard and his team also made a commitment to return frequently and continue helping them have safe drinking water. They also plan to help with covid-19 precautions including hand washing supplies and masks. Agua Pura, and you- our donors, stand behind Hovard and his volunteers. Together with you we are providing financial support and materials for his work in Meillac and other projects in Haiti. As we have often said, we are all volunteers and 100% of all donated funds goes to support our programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. We appreciate every dollar you have donated and hope that you will continue to support our work. Can you consider making a modest monthly recurring donation?, it would help us lot with future programs. Thank you, Tom Carter
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