José Ramón Moncada is 47 years old and the very proud father of six children. The family lives in the community of Altos de Santa Rosa in the Trojes region of Honduras. Life has not been easy for José Ramón and his family. Nonetheless, he is quick to say, “even with all of the difficulties, I have been able to push my family forward.”
The family has faced significant economic, physical and emotional hardship over the years. José Ramón shared a difficult story of when his daughter, Sandra Rodríguez, was 2 years old. This is when he first learned about the dangers caused by the water his family was drinking.
“Sandra suffered a worm attack. I didn’t know what was going on; I could see her convulsing often. We thought she was about to die. I looked for all the possible solutions. We went to Trojes city, where my brother lived, to find help. We had no money. My brother had some coins he was saving in a porcelain pig. He broke it, and with the little money we gathered, we took Sandra to the doctor. Thanks to God, he could save her. She was having a worm attack. They were harming her from the inside and coming out of her body through her nose and ears. It was really painful for me to see. I asked the doctor what was happening, and he told me it was a consequence of drinking contaminated water. I was really surprised because I didn’t know that the water could harm us. We couldn’t find a solution to treat the water at that time, so we passed the water through a piece of cloth before drinking it. That didn’t help.”
Not long after this, another daughter started to have a strange disease on her skin. Her toenails and fingernails were falling off, as was her hair. She appeared to have a strange allergy all over her head. They took her to a doctor, and, again, this doctor said it was due to drinking and bathing in contaminated water.
“We didn’t have any choice but to leave our community and abandon our land, at that time, to find a way to survive. I had to provide for my family,” remembers José Ramón.
Today, life is different for the Moncada family. They are back home in Altos de Santa Rosa. All six children are doing well. They now have a clean water filter and hygiene education to protect them when drinking and bathing. The family is happy, healthy, and deeply grateful.
“Thanks to the PWW project, we can trust the water now,” exclaims José Ramón. He is relieved and thankful that the water, and the worms, no longer threaten his family.