3) Earthen Floors
One of the challenges in the lives of people who live in Quiche is the quality of their living conditions. As you can see, the floors are rough and disease can easily be spread. The simple replacement of a dirt floor with a sealed earthen floor can solve a lot of these problems. The new floor, a mixture of clay dirt, sand and pine needles which is towelled on like cement. When it has completely dried it is then sealed with linseed oil. This provides a surface which can be cleaned. Families who have received these floors report a noticeable difference in cleanliness of home including fewer bug bites i.e. fleas.
The new water system
The old water system
Our project coordinator/missionary in Guatemala is Melinda Grant. Melinda has been to Guatemala on numerous occasions and has developed a relationship with the people of the rural community of Colonia San Juan in the highlands of Quiche Guatemala. Driven by a desire to help alleviate hardship and promote positive,healthy change in the lives of the families of this community, Isaiah Projects (iProjects) is partnering with Melinda to help make a difference. Our goal is to make a lasting impact through education, implementation and a commitment to follow through with supportive measures and resources to ensure sustainable change.
Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. It spans an area of 108,890 km2 (42,043 sqmi) and has an estimated population of 15,806,675, making it the most populous state in Central America. A representative democracy, its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City. What is today Guatemala was for centuries part of the Mayan civilization that extended across Mesoamerica. Guatemala attained its independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved in 1841.
2) Water Supply
In the community of Colonia San Juan there are approximately 44 families of which only 4 have a water supply to their home. In 2014 community leaders identified the need to have water to the school building as the children were having to walk to collect water. In reality they were often sharing bottles of water to wash their hands. There was a municipal line running not far from the school building and the only thing stopping water access was the cost of buying legal title. The total budget to complete this work was approximately $3500. In April of 2015 a small team joined with the community to make this a reality. This seems like a small feat but it took the approval of 17 different municipal leaders to get the approval for the new waterline. This initiative has had a direct a impact on hygiene and wellbeing in the daily lives of the children. Water is an ongoing problem for the families of this community as most continue to have to walk and carry all of their water which is gathered from a source that is contaminated. Rainwater management and collection is an important aspect of increasing the quantity of available water. We have outfitted two homes with eavestrough and large collection barrels but this is something we would like for each family. Even during the dry season, the nights are cool enough to collect dew. This helps keep the gardens healthy during this time. Melinda was recently sponsored to participate in a course in San Angelo, Texas with Water for All International. It is a method of making deep bore hole wells that rural families can learn to do for themselves by using all local materials. Please partner with us in prayer as we seek to help alleviate this problem. The best solution would be educate and empower the community to solve this problem for themselves.
Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Our desire is to partner with the community to provide an opportunity for education and implementation of permaculture design principles. To date, Isaiah Projects Guatemala has sponsored five community leaders from Colonia San Juan to attend a Permaculture Design Certification course. It is a two week, intense course held at the Institute of Mesoamerican Permaculture. The focus is the development of self sufficient communities through the responsible management of natural resources using a combination of permaculture techniques (including square foot gardening, worm composting etc) and Mayan ancestral and traditional knowledge. In November of 2015 a team from New Hope Community Church in London, Ontario worked with the members of the community to build and plant 18 10x10 family vegetable gardens. Funds were also raised to supply families with native seeds in hopes of developing a community seed bank. In November of 2016 we will continue this work by installing more gardens and assessing sustainability of the work to date.
Interested in joining a team to Guatemala?
Call 519-841-3892 and ask for an application form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you help?
Consider making a donation to help support the work that Melinda and iProjects are committed to completing this year. 100% of your financial contribution will be used to help train people and implement the techniques used in creating sustainable Permaculture. Be part of the movement that will improve the quality of nutrition and life for the people of Colonia San Juan. Simply click the donate now button to get started. Thanks for helping make a difference!