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Water System for Tesoro Chiquito


The hamlet of Tesoro Chiquito (which in Spanish means "Small Treasure") is located in the remote area of highlands of Guatemala known as the Zona Reina. To reach it, one must travel five hours over rough roads from the nearest town and then walk or travel by horseback for several hours over a narrow trail. The village is usually inaccessible in the rainy season. Its 27 impoverished families subsist on farming cardamom, coffee and beans. Their leader, a man named Moses Hernandez, is a visionary who was able to convince the county to help Tesoro Chiquito build a small schoolhouse. This enabled the children to get a third grade education.

Tesoro Chiquito had water rights to a spring and sought assistance to install a chlorinated water distribution system. The goal was for each home to have a faucet of running water. This would free the women and children from having to haul water from a distant river and would have the added benefit of greatly improving their health and quality of life.

The cost for the entire project was $13,000. Tesoro Chiquito contributed $2200 in materials such as rock, sand and gravel. Additionally, the people of the village dug the trenches and laid the pipes. The county of Uspantan provided $4540 in materials and skilled labor. United by Friendship along with some New Mexico Rotary Clubs donated the remaining $6260.

In May of 2006, UbF and Rotary volunteers traveled to Tesoro Chiquito to help them inaugurate their water project. To reach Tesoro Chiquito, the volunteers traveled over a muddy narrow dirt road in the back of pickup trucks for five hours. When the road ended, they continued on to Tesoro Chiquito on foot and horseback. Upon their arrival, the volunteers were greeted with great enthusiasm by the community. Each home had decorated its new water faucet with brilliant tropical flowers. UbF was honored to have been a partner in this worthy project.

 

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