Earlier this spring, eight members of our chapters set out for Guatemala. This is the first year members split into two teams in order to be on site over a longer construction schedule.
The traveler groups each spent two days getting from Colorado to Nebaj, the regional hub of the Ixil Triangle in the northwest part of Guatemala. The region is comprised of Ixil-speaking indigenous people that boast colorful traditional dress and vibrant artisan textiles. This area was very heavily impacted by the violence of the Guatemalan Civil War which lasted into the 1990s. In Nebaj, they met with our in-country counterpart, Diego (a native of the Ixil area).
From Nebaj the teams traveled to the community of Xexuxcap, where they worked with Diego and community members to expand and improve their existing water system. At Xexuxcap, there is essentially one water tap for each home, and with the existing water system, many of the homes were not getting water at all during the busy daytime hours. With a design provided by our EWB team, and with your funding support, the system was enhanced to connect a new spring water source through over a mile and a half of pipe, increasing the availability of potable water to the community by some 70%. Our EWB teams were impressed by how dozens of community members came together to work on the system over a period of several weeks, which included digging the 1.5 miles of trench through rugged and rocky terrain. We also had the privilege of joining the community for a celebration including flowers, singing, prayers, and fireworks, which commenced as water from the new spring source began to flow through the system.