Laura lives with her husband, Mauro, and their three grandchildren, Laura (19), Mauricio (18), and Yamilet (13) in the community of San Juan, Salamá, Baja Verapaz. Laura owns a small Tortilla shop, and her husband 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.
Laura explains the situation of the water in her community “We have two sources of water, but neither of them are completely pure. Sometimes they cut it and we spend a few days with out water. We used to drink directly from the sink, because we did not have enough money to buy water from vendors,” she continues, “Now, with our water tank and water filter it’s completely different. We drink fresh and clear water, and we always have it running!”
(pictured Laura with her old pila, where her and her family used to shower)
(Pictured Laura with her new shower and ceramic toilet)
Before receiving their new latrine and porcelain toilet, Laura and her family used a latrine in poor conditions and they did not have a shower. “I feel very blessed. We had been dreaming of having a shower but we could not afford it. Before, we had to wake up at 4AM each day to shower in our pila (cement sink), so that no one could see us. Now, everybody has their privacy and we feel happy!” says Laura. Before, the family used to pour out their waste water on the street. That has changed as well! 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 Laura says, “all the people who benefited in the community are happy with their products, they have been of great help! We are making sure to take care of them.”
She finishes by sending a message to the donors: “Thank you all for your support! thank you for making many of our dreams come true. It wouldn’t have been possible on our own. May God bless you.”