The Marquette Breakfast Rotary Club, partnering financially with clubs in Rotary Districts 4250 and 6270, is serving as an international sponsor to provide a basic water system to El Tesoro in the Highlands of Guatemala. El Tesoro is a community located 1 hour north of the municipality of San Martín Jilotepeque, Department of Chimaltenango. The altitude is 1491 meters above sea level, making for a temperate climate. The main economic activity is agriculture; they grow coffee, corn and beans only for their consumption and the coffee to sell. At least 20 families have migrated to the United States, because of persistent water shortages and indicate they may return as soon as the project is finished.
Through obtaining a Rotary International Global Grant for roughly $80,000, and working closely with Engineers without Borders USA—Guatemala, we want to help the community to cap a spring, build a conduction line (eight kilometers long), and install a distribution tank and system with taps to the more than fifty households in El Tesoro. Currently, 324 El Tesoro residents obtain potable water via rainwater catchment during the rainy season though, most of the time, they must travel to either a contaminated river or water pool that is 45 minutes away thereby forcing families who can afford it to rely on bottled water for hydration. The Marquette University (USA) chapter of Engineers without Borders has also provided assistance in designing the water system and will volunteer with construction if the pandemic allows.
For more information, contact: Jim Cantrill, District 6220 International Service Chair