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A Born Leader

Don Goyo has led the charge for safe water in his rural community in the hilly terrain of Western Guatemala. From a young age, he looked for problems to solve and ways to make life better for Everyone in his community. In many ways, making life better started with water.

The first water project was implemented in his community of Chuisiguan in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Quiche decades ago, when there were only 34 families in the area. In the last ten years the population has grown to 150 families and was divided into sectors, causing more people to be without water.

"The project has a history," says Don Goyo. The planning for a new water system began in 2011, but there were challenges to overcome – purchasing the land for the well, searching for funding, and integrating different sectors of the community. At first, only 35 of the 150 families in the community were interested, but as the drilling of the well neared completion and they saw successes of the local committees, gradually more and more families began supporting the project. The Community Development Council of Pack’aja’ and Chuisiguan secured funding from Water For People and other local sources, and once funding was in place, the system was completed in three months.

"Now the community has water in their homes. They no longer have to go to the river to do laundry and carry water to drink and cook. Now they will have water every day," says Don Goyo.

Don Goyo says people will have to get used to paying for their water, but he knows a pay-for-use structure will ensure the system can be maintained for years to come. Water For People knows it takes pioneering local leaders like Don Goyo to keep systems running Forever.

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