The Aldea Agua Escondida community is located on Lake Atitlan in the Western Highland region of Guatemala. In this area 81% of people live in poverty and 40% live in extreme poverty, some of the highest rates in the country. Schools in this rural region are underfunded and often forgotten, and EORM Padre Gregorio Schaffer is no exception. It is located on the less touristy side of the lake, and therefore has not attracted the attention of many donors to improve the school infrastructure. In the past, the community and parents have come together to make small repairs.
The school currently uses a protected spring from a river for their water which is pumped through pipes to the school. The school currently has hand washing stations with running water that are inadequate and need to be rebuilt. The school currently has 10 toilets and 2 urinals in two buildings, but only 7 of the toilets are working for 420 students. Only some of the bathroom facilities are separated by gender and in some cases the toilets are not separated by walls or enclosed by doors. The urinals don’t have water and some of the toilets have to be flushed with buckets of water. Of the three septic tanks, one is causing a bad odor. Several of the toilet facilities need to be remodeled and additional facilities need to be created to meet the needs of the school.
Phase 1: Demolish 3 unused toilet areas. Build 3 female toilet areas, 2 toilet areas and urinal for males, and a handwashing station. Phase 2: Rebuild a second toilet area with 3 female toilets, 2 toilet areas and urinals for males, a toilet area for teachers, and an additional handwashing station.