Concrete Floors for Families
Making a Difference
You can help make a significant improvement in the health and development of a family for about $700. A World Bank study showed that replacing mud floors with concrete floors resulted in a 76% reduction in parasitic infections, a 49% reduction in diarrhea, an 81% reduction in anemia, and a 36-96% increase in cognitive development. In the past 3 months, we have been able to provide 7 needy families with concrete floors due to the generosity of our donors.
In the photo, 2 year old Darwin Maxmiliano Siqui Iqui safely plays on the brand new concrete floor in his family's house in San Simon.
We hope to provide 50 homes with concrete floors in 2022.
Doing What’s Needed
During the dry season, there are serious shortages of water, leading many families to have to walk to rivers or caves meet their families' needs. We have two types of water supply projects: rainwater harvesting from roofs into plastic tanks or wells that supply a community-sized concrete water tank. Here is a photo of a well AgInno Institute provided for the El Porvenir II community - we also plan to build a concrete water tank for the families living there and are seeking donors to complete the concrete community tank.
We are also developing larger-scale water projects for two additional communities - a well and concrete tank for La Planada (over 100 families) and a roof water-catchment system for 100 houses in Se'China.
Government Medical Clinic in Chisec
Partnering to improve care for the community
The local clinic has a lot of potential and we have plans to make real patient care improvements. We have already provided ceiling fans for the main waiting area and some plumbing improvements. Our planned projects in order of priority are improving the sterilization system for the facility, updating the OBGYN ward, increasing the capacity of the emergency department, interior painting, and ceiling fans in all critical locations.
Paddle Wheel Aerator
2021/22 marks the 3rd year of our sponsorship of a research project at Olivet Nazarene University to develop a paddle wheel aerator system appropriate for intensive small-pond aquaculture in Guatemala. Paddle wheel aerators use less than 50% of the electricity as bubble aerators, yet are only commercially available in large sizes suitable for commercial fish production. We successfully field-tested this prototype in a local fish farmer's tilapia pond - it was able to at least match the aeration rate of a bubble aerator over a 24 hour test run. This school year's focus at Olivet is developing a solar power system for the aerator, which we hope to field test in April 2022.
The Corn Boat
The corn fields belonging to the famers living in El Porvenir are almost an hour's strenuous walk from the community. At harvest time, they usually spend a couple of weeks carrying their bags of corn in from the fields, which is quite difficult and time-consuming. We invested in a "corn boat" which we use to transport their crops along the small river in the valley by their fields. For the Fall 2021 harvest, we transported 160 bags of corn, weighing 75 lb each, charging the famers only the fuel cost for the motor. In December/January, we helped a local young man, Noe Yat, to establish this as a produce transport business. To date, the Corn Boat has transported more than 10 tons of corn from the fields in the local mountains.
Our current foci are on improving corn yields and establishing small aquaculture systems (for tilapia). Our corn research in 2021 focused on evaluating 3 different locally available seed types, as well as different planting and fertilizer treatments. In the course of this work, we harvested almost 1000 lb of corn, which we distributed to our neighbors in need. Our current research "in the field" (literally) is focused on defining the benefits of different fertilizer usage rates and "turned earth" (vs. just holes in the unbroken soil).
We are also planning in early 2022 to partner with a local small-holder tilapia farmer to help demonstrate for him intensive aquaculture - we will provide him aeration equipment that should increase his yield by up to 300%. Beyond this, our new project with Northwest Nazarene University is a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), being designed to enable 100-200 fish to be raised by families on small plots of land. Stay tuned for more information as we hope to demonstrate this at our El Puente site in May 2022.