Ribbon Cutting: La Candelaria Neighborhood

“We now have the opportunity to find a job to provide for our families.”

– Lorena Figueroa (pictured with daughter), single mom and proud new resident of La Candelaria, at ribbon cutting.

On July 6th, the residents of the recently established La Candelaria neighborhood came together to celebrate the inauguration of this significant project that provides housing and reliable, sustainable access to safe water and sanitation to single moms and people with disabilities. 

La Candelaria is a very unique neighborhood, located in the municipality of Maraita, Honduras. The neighborhood was established in 2021 with a goal to provide housing and assistance to support the needs of vulnerable persons with disabilities and their single-parent households.

The neighborhood would provide more than simply shelter for the families. With accessible bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, the 14 homes were constructed to support the overall health and wellbeing of all family members. What’s more, the accessible environment across the community increases ease of care for mothers and caregivers, providing them with the opportunity to expand their focus to include other essential family needs, while their children have a safe and dignified place to grow up.

To make this neighborhood a reality, the Mayor of Maraita donated the land and CEPUDO (a nonprofit organization) constructed the homes. With no immediate access to water, Pure Water for the World joined efforts, working with the Mayor,  CEPUDO, and the families to address reliable, sustainable access to safe water and sanitation in the homes.

Last year, PWW completed the connection of the 14 homes to the neighboring community water system. Rainwater harvesting systems were installed at each home, supplementing the water supply to address water scarcity, water security and attain optimal water access standards. Residual water treatment is integrated into the systems. Community members assisted with laying water pipes and installing the rainwater harvesting systems. This year, PWW completed the sanitation system for the homes.

All families have participated in safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) educational training courses. Families learned the necessary components of integrating effective practices to support environmental hygiene and water source protection, proper safe water storage, home hygiene, personal hygiene, and management of the rainwater harvesting systems.

La Candelaria Water and Sanitation Highlights:

  • Rainwater Harvesting Systems:

    • The centerpiece of the project is the implementation of comprehensive rainwater harvesting systems. This includes the installation of rainwater tanks for each home in the community. The tanks store 1,500 liters of water, both from rain and from the community water system. They are designed to capture rainwater runoff from rooftops, storing it for later use.
    • Collected rainwater will serve as an additional source of water supply, reducing the community’s dependence on traditional water sources.
    • By reducing the reliance on groundwater and municipal water sources, the rainwater harvesting systems help alleviate the strain on existing water infrastructure, contributing to the conservation of water resources.
    • BONUS: Families are now growing food and flowers thanks to the water provided. (see photo: rainwater harvesting system with flowers in recycled pots)
  • Sanitation System:

    • The project also focuses on improving the sanitation system in La Candelaria. A significant portion of the funds allocated to the project was utilized to construct a sanitation system, including septic tanks and grey-water tanks.

During last week’s ribbon cutting event, the Mayor of Maraita, local authorities, and Maria R. Inestroza, PWW’s Country Director in Honduras, gave speeches highlighting the community involvement and collaboration by the different actors that helped make this project a success. Community members also put on a play, honoring those who made this project possible.

PWW donors made the WASH programming in La Candelaria possible. Maria expressed gratitude to the Mayor, CEPUDO, community members, and local authorities. She recognized the many PWW donors, who generously gave to this project in honor of long-time PWW supporter and past PWW board president, Bob Mohr.

“From the initial planning stages, to the execution and ongoing maintenance, the project has been a collective effort, reflecting the determination of the community, the mayor’s office, CEPUDO and PWW to create a community of health and hope for these families.

The La Candelaria project serves as an inspiring example for other communities facing similar challenges, demonstrating the positive impact that can be achieved through collective action and innovative solutions. It is hoped that this initiative will inspire further projects and create a ripple effect, leading to more sustainable development and improved access to water and sanitation in the region.” – Maria Inestroza, PWW Honduras Country Director (pictured front, left)

Lorena Figueroa (pictured with daughter), single mom and proud new resident of La Candelaria, shares:

“Thanks to the support of CEPUDO, Pure Water for the World, and the Mayor of Maraita, we are now able to have a home with all the basic services, including water, hygiene and sanitation. For those of us who are single parents, we now have the opportunity to find a job to provide for our families.”