WASH Project – Flor de María Chen

Flor (26) lives with her father, Manuel (63), and her three children, Arturo (12), Evelyn (6), and Lourdes (2) in the community of San Juan, Salamá, Baja Verapaz. Flor takes care of the children and family chores and her dad works in the fields nearby.

As part of Habitat Guatemala’s Integral Water and Sanitation Hygiene Project (WASH) consists of the installation of a biodigestor, porcelain toilet, shower, water filter and the placement of a small tower and water tank in each household, to guarantee and ensure better hygiene practices. When the family found out about this project, they knew it was a great opportunity to improve their family’s quality of life.

In the community of San Juan, families have two sources of water, but neither of them are completely pure nor running the entire time. That is why having a water tank is very important for Flor de María’s family. “We are happy with our water tank! now, we can no longer tell if the water is missing or not, because we always have it available,” she continues, “We used to boiled water from the sink but, sometimes we had to keep on boiling it because it had chlorine flavor and everything we drank had that flavor. So, we had to buy it. Now, it is completely different, we no longer have to buy it or drink it with chlorine flavor!”

(pictured the family’s old shower) 

(pictured the family’s new sanitary unit, including a ceramic toilet, a shower and a pila) 

Before receiving their new latrine and porcelain toilet, Flor and her family used a shower covered with wood and plastic and their latrine was in poor conditions. “It was very uncomfortable, especially at night because there were a lot of cockroaches and worms and I worried for my children. Now, it is completely different! I feel calm when they use the bathroom and shower by themselves. It is more hygienic and comfortable,” says Flor. She continues by explaining about their waste water; “We used to direct the water waste to the field next to the house, Now, with the water waste no longer exposed my kids can play safely.” With their new biodigestor connected to the toilet and shower they make sure its going to only one place and doesn’t further pollute the environment.

Overall, Flor says, “We feel happy and satisfied to be a part of this project. The products had made us feel safer and healthier, it has been of great improve!”

She finishes by sending a message to the donors: “Thank you who made this project possible! May God help you and guide you in order to continue supporting families in need.”