Tierra Linda – Guatemala

Submitted by Maria Bartrum | Location: Tierra Linda, Guatemala | NGO: Agua Para La Salud | Date: Feb. 20, 2013

The community of Tierra Linda takes nothing for granted, has purposed everything on the land, and manages its water effectively. It has a working irrigation system that, coupled with the richness of the land and year round growing temperatures, has made the community prosperous enough to contribute to another water project.

The ongoing debate amongst the villagers of Tierra Linda is whether this new water system should be for personal use or economic use. For now, both are possible because the springs and wells can provide enough water, but because population grows 3% each year, it will be more difficult in years to come.

The community of Tierra Linda consists of 171 families. Wisconsin Water for the World was looking for a project to contribute $14,000 to, but this project needed additional funds. A Florida group came up with $12,000 and the families in the community were able to contribute $20,000. The mayor is presently deciding what he is willing to contribute because they need another $15-16,000. A project like this used to cost $10,000 but due to inflation, it is upwards of $20-30,000 now. Work on this project started 2 weeks previous to my visit and will consist of the first two stages, Developing the spring to the distribution, then distribution to the homes.

In other communities around Guatemala, the growing season may only be 5 months a year and therefore, their produce is for personal consumption only rather than for selling.

Below the spring, there will be a tube that will pass through the opening between two columns already built. These concrete pillars are buried 2 meters deep with concrete and rock. They will serve as anchors where the cable is buried in the block and will make a sort of hammock to suspend the tubing across the ravine using a galvanized pipe. It would have been easier to add this tube to the existing drainage tube under the road but the mayor insisted that they were not to do it that way and charged them 1000 Qs to break the concrete instead without breaking the road. This is far more work for the town and they will have to bring the piping to Antigua to have it threaded, which is an extra costly step in this process.

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