Petrona and Family in Kalampatzon

Submitted by Jodi and Tristan Moss | Location: Guatemala | NGO: Aqua Para La Salud | Date: April, 2010

Petrona Matrom Cobo’s life has changed significantly since Aqua Para La Salud, installed a water distribution system in her village, Kalampatzon, in Blue Planet Network funded projects of 2009 and 2010. Before this, Petrona walked about three kilometers each way to a nearby river to collect water. Several trips each day were required to collect enough water for her family of seven. Petrona also carried her laundry each day to her relative’s house in their neighboring village.

Petrona now has a faucet with running water next to her kitchen. This leaves Petrona with more time. She is able to make her children’s clothes and she is better able to tend her crops. She composts, and uses the grey water from her faucet to irrigate her garden. Last year, she fed her family almost entirely from her garden and did not have to buy any corn (Guatemala’s staple food). All of these things save her money.

Kalampatzon’s new water system also is relieving population pressures in neighboring villages. During the civil war, Kalampatzon was destroyed and its residents were forced to flee from their homes. Only about ten of 55 families returned to Kalampatzon after the war. The others moved to overpopulated neighboring villages. Now that Kalampatzon has a water system, the families are starting to rebuild their homes and return to their land.

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