Chajmaic’s greatest resource is its abundant river, el Río Cahabón. This river flows for over 120 miles and provides for all the needs of those in the village. See Sowing Opportunities’ recent Neighborhood View article and our recent newsletter email.
However, as in many places in the world where a body of water serves all the needs of its population, it contains water-borne illnesses: multiple parasites, worms, gastritis, and Helicobacter Pylori.
Over 30 years ago the municipality initiated a project to pump the water from the river, to deliver it to sections of the village so that people wouldn’t have to carry it back to their homes:
This is a history of Sowing Opportunities’ Water for Life project:
- In December 2017, our project manager, Ricardo San José, and two agricultural engineers, Antonio Longo and Federico Arriola, met with the municipal mayor, Lillian García Contreras, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas and she showed them the pump house in Fray and they gained her approval for our team to do the work in Chajmaic.
- When the team returned on a goodwill visit in May 2018 to meet with village leadership (COCODE), they learned that Alcadesa García had already begun the project in Chajmaic! A new pump house, a 600,000 gallon capacity water tank at the top of a steep hill, and pipes running to and from the water tank had already been constructed:
- The only things lacking were electricity and faucets to each section of the village.
In August 2019, a new mayor, Arnoldo Fontana, was elected to the municipality of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. He completed the project, going even further than the previous plan, bringing not only electricity, but also faucets to each of the 350 homes in the village:
The next thing that is needed is to install filters at water tower, which costs $5,000 per filter. Two filters are needed at the location of the water tank. Each filter lasts two years, so that annual cost would be $5,000, divided by two years. The other cost for the water project is the monthly cost of electricity for the water pump @ $97 per year.
- The filtered water will be used for drinking and for agriculture, as well.
- Sowing Opportunities is seeking seed money to purchase two filters for the water tower and ongoing costs for electricity to run the water pump.
In March 2021, in celebration and support of World Water Day one of Sowing Opportunities’ key contacts in the village, Wendy Gómez, got these quotes and photos from the people in the village regarding fetching water:
Choc Tiul family
- Why is water important?
Because it is something that helps us survive and without water we die.
Tiul Coc Family
- What is water for?
To drink for domestic use cooking and washing many things.
Choc Choc Family
- Who does water benefit positively?
To our community.
Pop Coc Family
- What would happen if the water ran out?
We would die because without water we would not bear to live long.
Figueroa Chavez Family
5. How does water improve the functioning of our body?
It keeps the kidneys healthy and hydrates the skin.
Sacul Chub Family
6. Why is it important to conserve water?
Because it is what helps us to survive and we must make good use of it properly, so that we can have it more easily at our disposal.
Choc Lima Family
7. Why take care of water?
Because without water we cannot do much and as it is vital for us we have to take care of it because the water runs out and if we do not take care of it we will run out of water.
Cú Ical Family
8. Why are ways to preserve water created?
Because in many places rivers have been drawn and people cut down many trees and throw away a lot of garbage and there is a lot of pollution.
Macz Tiul Family
9. Why are there organizations that promote water care?
To prevent humans from continuing to pollute and become aware of our duty to care for and use what is necessary to avoid misuse.
Ba Chub Family
10. What are the consequences of not conserving water?
Because if we don’t keep it well or don’t take care of the place where we get the water from, it can run out and we run out of water.
Gomez Caal Family
11. What are the advantages of caring for water?
Because we can have the amount we need and if we take care of it we avoid contaminating it and thus we do not get sick.
Ical Ba Family
12. Why is water important for animals?
Because it helps them survive
Tiul Cucul Family
13. why does water promote plant growth?
Because it moves soil minerals through the plant when the soil dries out, root growth slows down and plants don’t grow.
and grow and helps them keep their bodies healthy.