In April 2016, Ramon Lucero, Jr., a long-time WEFTA volunteer and Project Manager at Souder, Miller & Associates, visited four communities in Chiapas, Mexico to evaluate current water needs and review the status of each community’s success in maintaining water systems designed and constructed with WEFTA support over the past seven years. WEFTA has provided safe drinking water for over 290 homes and 3,000 people in Chiapas since 2010.
Miguel Hidalgo, Chiapas, Mexico – 5 Years of Safe Water
It was 5 years ago that the Village of Miguel Hidalgo, a community of 150 homes, completed a new water system project with the help of WEFTA. This Zapatista community is located in the middle of the jungle with the best mode of transportation being a small, motorized boat.
Prior to bringing the waterline into the community, the women and children gathered their water from an arroyo at the bottom of a steep bank near the community. Due to the heavy rains in the region, the water was often the color of chocolate milk and full of silt from the runoff.
Today, members of the community are successfully maintaining the WEFTA-built water system, and remain as appreciative of the water system now as they were when it was first installed. As a result of the project, the community has seen a decline in water borne illnesses, especially to the infants and the elderly.
Laguna Chum Cerro, Chiapas, Mexico – Drinking Water, Latrines and Showers Going Strong
Laguna Chum Cerro is a community of approximately 20 families. Since 2010, WEFTA has teamed with the community and made multiple trips to help construct and install waterlines, a water storage tank, latrines and showers. During the April 2016 visit to Chiapas, WEFTA completed a thorough inspection of the entire water system and the latrines.
Community members from Laguna Chum Cerro remain grateful to WEFTA for providing them with safe drinking water and latrines. The addition of these latrines provides a long-term solution to the protection of ground and surface water sources in and around the community.
Benito Juarez Miramar, Chiapas, Mexico – Successful Start, But Funding Needed
The Community of Benito Juarez Miramar, with approximately 55 homes, still has unfinished projects. While most of the communities that WEFTA helps will grow and need to continually maintain the systems put in place, Benito Juarez Miramar is still in need of funding to complete their latrine project. The Schumacher Foundation and WEFTA have donated approximately $45,000 to construct the 53 needed latrines. Thirty-three of these latrines were last year, however, the remaining twenty are still in need of plumbing materials and additional funding for labor. WEFTA is in search of sponsors to help fund the additional latrines and an extension to the existing water system in order to meet the needs of more families.
Tierra y Libertad, Chiapas, Mexico – Planning for a Better Future
During a recent trip, WEFTA volunteers compiled a detailed material list and cost estimate to complete a Water System Improvement Project for Tierra y Libertad, a small community consisting of approximately 65 homes. The Tierra y Libertad water system improvement project will include a spring catchment system encompassing four distinct springs. From the spring catchment system, water will gravity flow through a transmission line to a water storage tank. From the water storage tank, water will gravity flow to each home where a water spigot will be installed just outside of each dwelling.
To read more about our ongoing involvement in Mexico check out our page: Mexico.