Projects that Promote Healthy Homes
Clean Water Projects Improve Lives
The struggle for survival is a daily occurrence in many of the areas where we work. Many rural villages have no water. Women and children must walk as much as 10 miles each day carrying 4-gallon jugs of water (34 lbs) for their family’s water supply. We believe clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right. Miracles In Action sponsors water systems that bring a water pipe to each home, improving hygiene and quality of life. Currently, we are raising funds for our 20th village water system project.
Water Filters Purify Water for a Family
One of the leading causes of death in young children is dehydration and diarrhea from drinking dirty water with parasites and bacteria. A water filter can save the lives of children by helping to provide clean water in a family’s home. Primarily working in villages where we have built schools or other development projects, Miracles in Action has placed over 1200 water filters in homes in Guatemala.
The usual source of water in rural villages is from springs, rivers and streams. In 2011, Miracles in Action began distributing a new type of water filter made by Sawyer, which uses a hollow fiber membrane, a technology derived from kidney dialysis. These new filters cost approximately $65 and last up to 10 years, depending on the quality of water being filtered. Each filter comes with a 5-gallon plastic container with a spigot, which holds the filter and treated water.
This woman from New Paradise, San Marcos tells others in her community about her experience and the benefits of this new filter.
Sponsoring Stoves – Saving Trees, Lungs and Lives
Most Guatemalan Mayan families cook on open fires on dirt floors inside their homes. While this is the cultural norm, it presents many problems. Lack of proper ventilation causes many respiratory infections and high levels of carbon monoxide in their homes. Children are at high risk for being burned when playing or learning how to walk near these open fires. Additionally, open fires are an inefficient use of wood which contributes to the deforestation problem as well as creating back-breaking and time-consuming work to gather enough wood.
New safe, vented stoves are designed to use less wood, resulting in less clear cutting of the rainforest. They vent smoke out of the house and the design prevents children from being seriously burned. We work with Amilcar Vielman, a Guatemalan who owns a local company that has developed Chapina stoves. He continues to change and improve his stove design based on the needs and feedback from the women who use them. This short video is an explanation of the situation by Nina Jorgensen, from our partner, Vamos Adelante: Vamos Adelante Stove Project