Imagine not being able to afford the kindling needed to boil your drinking water. Imagine growing up assuming that constant gastro-intestinal distress was just how the human body functions. This is the reality for many rural Guatemalans who do not have access to clean water.
To address this issue, the Association of Mam Christian Women for Development is promoting water filters to improve the health and well-being of women and families in their communities.
These water filters:
- Use bio-sand technology to draw impurities from the water
- Are made of poured concrete and weigh 300 lbs. – sturdy enough to last for years
- Have no moving parts and require minimal maintenance
- Eliminate the need to boil water, saving time and firewood
- Save money because families buy fewer bottles of purified water and less firewood
- Help protect the environment by saving trees and reducing plastic waste
- Are placed in an individual home and supply drinkable water for a large family
Total Cost for a water filter: $110
(Recipient pays $10, Donor pays $100)
The total cost per water filter is $110. The recipient family is required to invest $10, with the donor contributing $100. This water filter project, also known as SWIG (Safe Water in Guatemala), was launched in 2013. Since then, more than 600 filters have been installed in the homes of Association members. Because an average family has six or seven people, this means that at least 3,000 people now have clean water available in their homes.
These water filters are manufactured and installed by our partners AJPU. AJPU provides special training to one woman in each community who is designated as the monitora, or monitor. She is responsible for visiting recipient families every six months to be sure their water filters are being used correctly and functioning properly. Monitors have reported a reduction in intestinal distress and illness, especially among children. They have also heard that the men are happy to have cold, clean water readily-available when they return home from the fields and that children often take clean water to school to share with their classmates.