Mariana lives with her husband and his family in the community of San Juan, Salamá, Baja Verapaz. Don Lázaro, her father in law, owns a small grocery store, and her husband works in the fields, while she takes care of the family chores.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 promote and allow better hygiene practices. When the family found out about this project, they knew it was a great opportunity to improve their quality of life.
In the community of San Juan, families have two sources of water, but neither of them are pure nor run consistently. That is why having a water tank is very important for families there. “Now, we no longer suffer when they cut the water, we have a place to store it, safely.” She continues, “with the water filter, it is much better now too. Before we had to buy water or drink it directly from the sink. Now, with the filter it is much better. The water does not taste like chlorine anymore and it stays fresh.”
(pictured the family’s old shower and pila)
(pictured the family’s old latrine)
(pictured the family’s new sanitary unit, including a ceramic toilet, a shower and a pila)
Before receiving their new latrine and porcelain toilet, Mariana and her family used a shower covered with plastic and their latrine was in poor condition. “We feel better now, it is very different from where we used to shower before, it is much more comfortable now!” says Mariana. She continues by explaining about their waste water. “Before, when we showered, the waste water was left exposed on the surface, now we know, that it all goes to only one place.” 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, Mariana shares, “We feel happy with this project and the products.” She finishes by sending a message to the donors: “Receive all our gratitude for your support, Thank you!”