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  • Writer's pictureBruce Clemens

San Juan el Mirador

Today we went to San Juan el Mirador, San Lucas Toliman. Bottom line, this would be the most worthwhile and helpful investment I could imagine. The village water committee has asked to improve their water system. The project would help approximately 190 families. Economic conditions are some of the most dire in the country. The families do not have any land to cultivate. The only source of income is migrant manual labor on the local fincas. In addition to an improved water system the town needs sanitation. The streets are open sewers reminiscent of the favelas of Rio De Janeiro. Additional needs include building retaining walls to save the minimal community land.

The existing water system, built by the municipality approximately 15 years ago provides sufficient water to approximately ¾ of the village. The remaining 50-60 families do not have water. The spring, owned by the town, is more than sufficient for the entire town. A 3Hp pump lifts the water to an approximately 35 cubic meter tank. The distribution tank is situated high enough to provide water to the entire community. The improvements to the system include:

  • Design to expand the distribution network to service the remaining 50-60 families.

  • Calculation of the operation and maintenance costs to estimate the necessary monthly fees

  • Community organization and drafting of an agreement to make monthly payments to operate and maintain the system. According to Agua del Pueblo methodology if at least 80% of the community are in agreement, the project con continue

  • Each family needs a water meter. Currently no water meters are installed.

  • A significant improvement to the existing distribution network.

  • Improvements to the existing pumping facility. The PVC pipe exposed to the air should be replaced by galvanized steel

  • The system to start and stop pumping based on the quantity of water in the distribution tank needs to be replaced. Wireless controls would be a major improvement.

  • Construct an additional distribution tank of from 100 to 150 cubic meters. The existing distribution tank is not sufficiently large.

  • Move the electrical entrance and meter to the distribution tank

  • Install the water meters.

  • Repair sections of damaged pipe

My will-assed guesstimate is from $30,000 to $60,000. This would be one of the best investments I can imagine. These folks are truly the poorest of the poor.

¡Viva la Lucha del Pueblo!

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