4. Water for Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan

Girls Carry Water 2
Girls Carry Water 2
Young women carry water in the dry season


Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan is a community of some 6,000 residents who live 10,000 ft above sea level between the cities of Antigua and Quetzaltenango.  Devastated by a mudslide in 1998, the community was relocated 10 kilometers from its original location. After rebuilding its infrastructure, the town has a reliable source of most basic necessities such as electricity and transportation, but lacks a consistent supply of water. Water is only available for thirty (30) minutes per day, and during the dry season sometimes there is no water at all.  Lack of water is constraining the daily livelihoods of inhabitants. Without a sufficient source of water, the community cannot guarantee water for its citizens’ daily needs such as cooking and sanitation.

Overflow - Lower Pump House - uwal k'ox
Don Victoranio Shows Overflow at Lower Pump House


ATC, Engineers Without Borders, Rutgers, and engineers from Xela Teco worked closely with the local Water Committee and the Municipality of Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan to improve the water supply.  The project took 5 years to complete.  Water now flows to all households and the system of pumps and storage tanks is well maintained by local talent.

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Contact John Barrie