Los Regadillos


It is with great pleasure that we report the outcome of the United by Friendship water project for the small village of Los Regadillos, located in the highlands of Guatemala. What difference this clean water project has made for them.

March 2010: During our first visit we found a bedraggled and disorganized village of peasants lacking leadership. The village had a history of bickering among themselves, making it difficult to do any community projects. Their only infrastructure was a shanty school house with a leaky roof. When they implored us for assistance in constructing a clean water distribution system the UbF delegates were understandably cautious. However, they were moved by the pitiful condition of the village and their earnestness to somehow improve their lives. After much deliberation UbF agreed to assist them with the materials necessary to construct the water system under the conditions that (1) all adults receive training on citizenship, (2) they form a water committee and (3) they provide the manual labor for the project. They eagerly agreed and together we went forward with the project.

April 2011: Upon our return this year we found a village completely transformed. The UbF delegates were welcomed amid a sea of smiles and handshakes. The community now understood how to participate in the democratic process. They had elected representatives and the new water committee had established rules for monthly water fees and penalties for wasting of the water. They referred to the water as "Our Vital Liquid". They spoke of how they had hauled the sand rock and gravel for the new spring box and distribution tank and dug miles of trenches for the pipe.
Six men had taken a special training in how to chlorinate the system and repair the pipes. The leaders had been taught how to preserve their watershed. The county government was so impressed at the change in Los Regadillos that it built them a new school.

That afternoon we were proud to have partnered with Los Regadillos. There were speeches, a feast and dancing. Then they unveiled an extraordinary monument with a water feature dedicated to Laurence Campbell, a founding UbF board member, who provided the majority of the funding for this project. The community of Los Regadillos is eternally grateful for the way in which so many of you helped to transform their lives not only with providing water but also for bringing them together as a functioning community.

 

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