PWW Team Member: Karla Vargas

PWW Team Member Highlight: November 2019

Each month we are featuring a member of PWW’s staff. This gives you the opportunity to get to know our team a little better and gain an understanding about what makes them such a special part of PWW’s safe water programs. 

PWW Team Member: Karla Vargas

PWW Office:  Trojes, Honduras

Position within PWW: Health Promoter

Years with PWW: 10

How did you first learn about PWW?

I saw the PWW truck go by my house everyday, and I dreamed of working for PWW. I heard from a friend that there was an opening, so I  applied…and, the rest is history.

What inspires you the most about the work you do?

To be able to work closely with families and influence the change of hygiene habits.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up very early in the morning and make breakfast for the family. I prepare my youngest daughter, Karol, to go to school, and I drop her at school before going to work. I arrive at the office on Mondays and participate in the planning of activities for the week. Then it depends on the planned activities. Most of the time I go out to communities to provide trainings. And, I make my coworkers smile with my contagious laugh!

What has been your greatest challenge?

Teaching Menstrual Hygiene Management. On several occasions, I have encountered students who know very little about the subject and/or who have never heard about puberty changes and menstruation. They are very shy to discuss the subject.

NOTE: Karla has been instrumental in developing and delivering PWW’s menstrual hygiene management training program that is providing a new understanding, among girls, boys, women and men, about menstruation. This program is helping to remove misunderstandings and old taboos, and it is empowering girls to stay in school! 

What is your favorite thing about working for PWW?

The opportunity to learn new subjects. As time has gone by, I have witnessed PWW’s evolution and growth. That has passed on to me as well. With PWW, I have received the opportunity not only to learn but also to share my knowledge in design and fashion. I have designed and constructed a reusable a sanitary pad, which I teach to girls and women. I’ve designed the pre-filter cloth, used on the BioSand filter when pouring in water. I’ve also been able to offer various other creative ideas when I deliver trainings.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I have being together with my life partner, Fredy, for 18 years now. I have two beautiful children…Karol who is 8 years old and in third grade, and Lesman who is turning 16 years old on the 22nd of November. He is in ninth grade. I am preparing for the “sweet sixteen” birthday party!

What is your favorite activity to do when you are not working?

My favorite activity when not working is designing and sewing. I continue my sewing in my dreams some times. I also recently graduated as a Catechist at the Catholic church, so I will be able to train children for their first communion.

What is your favorite food?

A soup called chicken-in-corn-rice, which is a typical plate mainly in the rural areas of Honduras.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

I would love to start my own sewing workshop. On weekends, I am currently training 7 women, between the ages of 17 and 45, so they can become seamstresses, as is really hard to find these helpers in Trojes. I have also elaborated the uniforms for some of the schools in Trojes.

Karla is simply awesome! If you’ve been to Honduras, you know Karla has the best laugh, and it is rare to find her without a huge smile on her face! If you don’t know her, we invite you to come visit Honduras and meet this very special woman. We are grateful for her dedication to PWW and for her passion and commitment to empowering children and families with safe and healthy hygiene practices.

Click here to learn more about our volunteer trips.