The sun rises and sets on El Rosario, Guatemala exactly as it does where you live. The village enjoys being surrounded by beautiful tree covered mountainsides, unpolluted skies and high summer season temperatures averaging 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. The colorful village, located in the southeastern portion of the country near the border of Mexico, is 39 miles from Guatemala City. This is where the similarities end.
Unlike where you’re at, the villagers drink soda instead of water because they don’t have clean drinking water in their homes and can’t afford to buy it. They send the children out to walk miles just to get the unsanitary water they use for cooking, and most are suffering from waterborne illness because of it. Their children are malnourished. They can’t concentrate in school because they are lacking the proper nutrition for a healthy life, and the school room they attend to learn is put together with scrap tin from around town. It’s hard to feel hopeful in a situation that doesn’t seem to be changing, but things are now turning around and the village is working hard to improve their future.
As a community, they dream of an improved living situation, not only for their children but their children’s children. They are ready to work for a better situation and their outlook has drastically changed because of a recent sagashi study that was conducted by Mpact Project and participated in by all members of the community.
El Rosario’s goals are to reduce the distance walked to retrieve water, provide needed nutrients for village children and reduce the widespread health issues like respiratory and gastrointestinal complications caused by the lack of clean water and inefficient cookstoves that fill the homes with smoke. They also dream of the day where children go to school in buildings without dirt floors and rusted tin walls to receive an education.
Location: 14°37'58.8”N 91°58'01.2”W
Elevation: 5,837 FT
Women to Men: 3 to 1