| UPDATES & STORIES OF IMPACT |
BPD supports community members to identify their needs, advocate for resources, and work in partnership with our staff and municipal authorities to plan and implement improvements in their health and well-being. Throughout the process, men and women of the community gain knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to continue the community development program.
Read on for stories of real lives benefitted from BPD and the support of our loyal donors.
Friday, 13 April 2012
Julia Cocon - Update from June 2011
We are very aware of how our lives have changed since ABPD started their support to our village last June. To start, running water has been very important to our comunity. I no longer have to spend hours a day carrying water. This was our main problem. ABPD also trained us on how to keep our water clean and how not to waste it.
The stoves we now have to cook our food work great. They save a lot of firewood, but most important, there is no longer any smoke in our homes. My eyes don't water any more and the kitchen area looks so different. Before, I had to cook on the floor. During the rany season the wood was wet and produced a lot of smoke. It was also hard just to light the fire, but there was no other way to cook. We have always lived this way until we got the new stove. Now, when the wood gets wet I put it near the stove and it dries very fast with the heat from the fire. I am very grateful for this help.
Gray water filters were installed in all of the homes at the same time we got the water. Before, dirty water was a big problem because all of us just threw our dirty water from cleaning and washing dishes outside of our homes. All of this contaminated water from my neighbors uphill came to my house, sometimes with a horrible smell. All of this contamination affected by family. The same thing happened to my neighbors downhill from my dirty water. We just didn't know a better way to do this. Thanks to ABPD, this is no longer a problem. My family and my neighbors do not run risk of getting sick from this dirty water now that it is safely drained away from our homes.
All of us now have improved latrines, which also help our families avoid illnesses from poor sanitation. ABPD taught us how to keep them clean and safe.
Thank you so much, especially those people who do not even know us but send donations to help us improve the quality of our lives. We could never imagine this kind of help would come to our community and we are very grateful to all of you.
Note: To compare Julia's life to the time before there was running water and other projects in her village, click on "older posts" at the bottom of this page to read her June 2011 story.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Maria Fluvia Patzan
Chipastor, San Martin Jilotepeque
My name is Maria Fluvia. I am 36 years old and married for 17 years to Juan Chitay, who is 46. We have six kids. I get up every morning at 5 a.m. to start the fire and then go to the corn mill. I make breakfast for my husband, who goes to work in the field, and for my daughters, who attend school. Then I have to do a lot of housework and take care of my baby who is nine months old. After lunch, I g
o with my daughters to the river to do our laundry and to collect water to drink. The river is about two kilometers from home and it takes about 45 minutes to get there. Sometimes, we go to don Alvara Ozauna's land to bring drinking water, which is only one kilometer from home, but we do not do this very often because too many people go there and there is always a long queue. After doing this, I make dinner and do more housework.
Life is very hard because of the lack of water. We have to walk to the river and it is very tiring. We cannot bring more than a few jars on our head barely enough for drinking or preparing meals. Another problem is the cooking fire. I use an open fire and my daughters have had very bad burns, so now I do not let them close to the fire to help me as it is too dangerous.
We built our own latrine using sacks and some metal sheets. It is in very bad shape. We are ashamed to use it because our neighbors can see us, but we do not have enough money to build a better one.
With help from ABPD, we will soon have running water, a new stove and a better latrine. I know that this will completely change our lives.
Friday, 10 February 2012
El Durazno, San Martin Jilotepeque
(See the September 2011 blog to learn of Armira's life "before water.")
My life has changed very much in the last few months. Water is no longer a problem. The exhausting days spent carrying water are over. My husband, sons, daughter and I are very happy and thankful to God and ABPD for changing our situation. I do not need to get up at 4 a.m. to fetch water. I can now sleep until 5 a.m. and still have time to bathe and make breakfast for my children before they go to school.
They get up at 6 a.m. and leave our home clean and fed. Just a few days ago, this would have been impossible.
My parents live with me. My dad is 81 and mom is 78. Because of their age, they cannot prepare their food and we had no time to look after them. But all this has changed thanks to the water system. I only open the tap and the water is there! I have enough even for my vegetables and flowers and also for my animals--chickens and a pig. They need water, too but this was not possible before. ABPD also gave us an Eco-filter so now we even have purified water We received training on how to use it and keep it clean. It is very useful as we do not boil water anymore, which saves firewood.
All this has come together with the water project, but there is even more! A few days ago ABPD told us they would support the village, helping to build efficient stoves and they taught us how to build them. Thank you, ABPD. This is real now! I have already have my stove built and I am so happy because I will not cook again using an open fire on the floor. I will not have eye problems because of the smoke and my coughing will stop. The best thing is we are not going to need lots of firwwood, which is very limited and buying it is very expensive. I cannot wait to use my stove. It is beautiful but I have to wait 20 days until the concrete is totaly dry.
All this has been so good for us. This is something we will be able to leave for our children.
Monday, 12 December 2011
My name is Carmelina Ajquejay. I live in La Pila and am the fourth of 13 children. I am the eldest child still living with my parents.
In January this year my dad had an accident and broke his spine, so he was sent to the Chimaltenango Hospital for a long time. My mom took care of him because we did not have enough money to pay for the treatment he needed.
All the family was under my care, with no support from my parents and with no food for the youngest ones. My mother was unable to breastfeed my 4-month-old brother because she had to travel every day to be with my dad. During this time, he lost weight and got sick. I did not know what to do, but I remembered the Strong Family Center and found support from them with food and activities for my brothers and sisters under 6.
I have been attending the center Tuesdays and Fridays so they can have a good lunch. My baby brother is now fine as he has received vitamins and nutritive drinks there. Also, with support from ABPD, I got help from the local health center and my brother’s weight is good now.
Thank God my brother is fine now and my dad is back at home. And, thank ABPD for the Strong Family Center because I learned how to take care of my brothers and sisters and how to feed them properly depending on their ages. I felt very supported by the other participants and the ABPD educator; they gave me many ideas about how to deal with this hard situation. My brothers, sisters and I are still attending the center because, with their support, I am better able to help my family.