In 2014 we oversaw fundraising for the distribution of point-of-use water filtration systems to 40 families in Pocohil. We were lucky enough to see 100% satisfaction and returned last year to oversee the distribution of over 100 filters and in Pocohil and three more villages –Chontala, Patalup and Lemoa. Even more fortunately, there has still been 100% compliance and satisfaction and 95 more filters will be distributed in June.
So how exactly does this work? Ecofiltro is a company based in Antigua. They are a social business that sells water filters to middle class families. In selling these filters, it subsidizes the cost of a more basic filter for the rural families. The families we are helping to provide filters for are all very poor. Our program raises money to get them their first filter. Upon delivery, each family pays a small down payment for their filter. Then, they pay a small monthly tax of less than two dollars in order to ensure they get a new filter once theirs stops working after two years. No family is forced to pay and no one is forced to get a filter. This is all monitored through a water board with the village leaders to ensure it is a sustainable program.
Our goal is to get water to the people who need it in a sustainable way. There are no free hand outs or westernization or loss of money through corruption. Every cent is accounted for and the feedback we receive tells us if the program is successful. Ecofiltro is a very well organized company that does this already, we simply use the resources we can get to support the villages of our friends we have made. It is a wonderful program and we look forward to continuing our support of water in rural Guatemala for many, many years.
If you are interested in knowing more, have questions or want to get involved, please contact us.
I look forward to hearing from you, and appreciate your support of Guatemalan water!
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