By Bella DiFilippo*
Maria Santos Baquiax, a young married mother of two, lives in the Santa Apolonia area of Guatemala. Laden with two heavy jugs and a baby strapped to her back, she often walked 12 times a day to collect water for her family. Although the water was contaminated, Maria used it for cooking, laundry, and personal hygiene.
Today, thanks to a partnership between the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Asociación Bienestar Progreso Desarollo (ABPD), Maria and other Mayan families now enjoy safe water at home and a better life as a result. …
“When I got married and moved out,” she added, “I had to collect water 12 times a day. I carried a jug on my head, another in my hands, and sometimes I carried my baby on my back. In total, I carried over 75 pounds. All of my mornings, every day, were spent collecting water. I didn’t have enough time to economically support my husband.”
Then, ABPD and UMCOR came to the village. Now Maria simply turns on a faucet to collect all the water her family needs.