On Our Way to One Million Liters of Safe and Healthy Drinking Water!

This report was written originally for our Globalgiving campaign. To date, we have raised $23,434 raised of our $31,060 goal.

A family inaugurates their new cistern

A family inaugurates their new cistern

A rainwater harvesting cistern with the new and improved "first flush" system design

A rainwater harvesting cistern with the new and improved "first flush" system design

Students at the Cerritos high school work together

Students at the Cerritos high school work together

A family builds a cistern together

A family builds a cistern together

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

This is a big update for us!  We ended 2016 with a major push on our GlobalGiving Campaign, and thanks to your support, combined with a very generous match by the Gates Foundation, we were able to bring in nearly $8,000 to continue this rainwater harvesting work.

Those funds have been hard at work, and with the help of some new partners as well, we have been able to build 22 new rainwater harvesting systems this quarter – representing nearly 270,000-liters of safe water storage! Twenty-one of these systems were built in the communities of Arenal, La Escoba, Llano Verde, and San Antonio de Lourdes: four communities where we continue to expand our impact and enjoy an unprecedented level of community participation.  These 21 systems represent more than 4,000 hours of volunteer labor alone, all provided directly by the communities themselves.

We were able to provide an additional 31 ceramic water filter systems for community households as well during these projects. While rainwater is inherently free of arsenic and fluoride, which plagues traditional community wells in this region, it is the ceramic water filters that ensure the water is free from biological contaminants – like bacteria and pathogens – and thus safe to drink. These rainwater harvesting and filter systems will provide roughly 318 people with long-term access to safe and healthy drinking water.

Along with these household systems, and thanks to our partnership with El Maíz Más Pequeño – a local NGO working on environmental education in community schools – we were able to build an additional rainwater harvesting system with students at a local high school in the community of Cerritos. The 104 students come from more than 25 surrounding rural villages, and the project itself was organized and led by a group of 7 high school students – all young women – who were anxious to bring these alternatives to their own communities. When no masons were secured to do the more difficult cement work, one of the young women said “no problem…we’ll do it.” The young women of Cerritos were all honored on March 22 – World Water Day – at an event in San Miguel de Allende honoring “Women in Water.”

For more information on the Cerritos project, take a look at this short video we put together – narrated by the students themselves.

You can also keep up with all of our projects by visiting our new and improved projects map. 

We are well on our way to supply 1 million liters of healthy water storage this year through our rainwater harvesting and treatment projects. We have some exciting new partners stepping forward to help get us there; so keep an eye out for our next updates.

But, we are still a long way off from our goal, and GlobalGiving supporters like you are the ones who have made the biggest impact on this work!  We are going to need YOU to help get us there! Please consider donating to this important work.  

Saludos,
Dylan Terrell