In Guatemala, we work through our partner Equinos Sanos para el Pueblo (ESAP) (Healthy Equines for the People), a Guatemalan foundation which promotes the welfare of working equines.
One of the main issues in Guatemala’s Dry Corridor is a lack of water – or at least, access to it. A few lucky communities have springs or a small lagoon, but collecting water from them can be difficult. This is the case in La Esperanza, in the department of Jalapa, where there’s a spring but people have to walk many miles to reach it. Three other communities share this spring, and they tried for several years to find an organisation that would help them.
If it’s a problem for people
ESAP doesn’t usually work on these types of projects, but it’s important to remember that if something is a problem for people, it’s a bigger problem for animals. When communities don’t have enough water, people are going to take priority over animals for what supplies there are, so - with help and advice from UNICEF - ESAP provided the communities with a water pump.
A community project
Community Engagement Officer Fabio Duarte announced to the excited community that, after years of trying, they were finally going to get the help they needed.
Along with ESAP’s water pump, the Municipality – already working with the community on a different project – provided 10 metal roofing panels and help with installing the pump. The Health Centre offered help to build the roof, and the Food and Agriculture Organization donated sand and cement for the base. Each family in the community donated five quetzals ($0.65) to buy wood to build the base and a small drinking trough.
Once the base had been built, installing the pump was a long and difficult task, but thanks to the hard work of many people, it was done in one day.
The pump now benefits more than 200 families and around 150 equines in the communities of La Esperanza, El Cujito, El Morrito and La Candelaria. No-one needs to walk long distances to the spring any more, and equines always have access to fresh drinking water.
La Esperanza is just one of many communities in the Dry Corridor which has problems accessing water. While ESAP is keen to help others, not all situations are as straightforward as La Esperanza and some require different solutions. ESAP hopes to engage organisations with more expertise and experience in this work.