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Back to the Beginning: Sanitation in Tultitlan

If you’ve followed us on our facebook page you know about our recent project in Mexico. For the last 10 years we’ve been working to improve the living conditions for families who live and work on a garbage dump near Tultitlan. They often live in shacks make from recycled materials and we’ve helped them to fix up their homes and to have safe drinking water and sanitary latrines.

Pablo with the old and new latrines
Pablo with the old and new latrines

When we first started we also helped build a small latrine for the local volunteer school. Over the years our latrine got a lot of use and wear and tear, and when we returned we always worked on it, painting and repairing as we could. After 10 years and many young students our latrine was finally worn out and some students, especially girls, had stopped coming to school for lack of a safe bathroom.

The little school has always been a community center and source of pride for the residents and Agua Pura felt that it was time for new latrines, clean and modern and safe for the students and for the whole community as well. So last year with the help of our supporters and our Mexican partner organization Amextra we raised the money for materials and in March went back to Mexico to help the community build their new latrine.

Working together to build the latrines
Working together to build the latrines

I was thrilled and proud to see the hard work and enthusiasm of the people there to help with the construction. It was hot, heavy, dirty work but whole families were working together carrying bricks, mixing cement and building walls. Where they could they used recycled building materials and supplies. Their goal was to complete the latrines in time for a big spring event, the schools mini-olympics. Each May 1st the school hosts students from all over the area for an event with many different sporting events from soccer to sack races. It’s a great fun event and the families were determined to be ready.

Mini Olympics Celebration
Mini Olympics Celebration

From the pictures you can see that we got the project done in time! We built a really nice latrine with four bathrooms, two for boys and two for girls. There are hand washing stations with running water, good lighting and locking doors.

Another goal of our project was to show how families that still lacked a latrine how one could be build simply and inexpensively using recycled materials. Now several families are hard at work on their own latrines and Agua Pura is helping them.

I came home dirty and tired, but admiring the communities’ accomplishment. The families working together built something that they are proud of and that will last a long time. It’s these kinds of projects that makes our work so satisfying and knowing that you helped support it should make you proud as well.

Every year I think will be our best, most exciting ever and this year for sure will be the best of them all!