Working with the community of Panabaj on the outskirts of Santiago, Atitlan has been an incredible blessing. I continue to be amazed at how a simple thing like a water filter can drastically improve living conditions here. This community was the hardest hit by the 2005 mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan, and has yet to recover. Drinking water is either boiled, costing money for wood, and contributing to poor air quality, or bought at great expense. Working with ANADESA (Association Nuevo Amanacer de Santiago Atitlan- Association for the New Dawn of Santiago Atitlan) has been especially meaningful for me. Formed after the mudslides by a group of local men and women from Panabaj, they have been promoting the QBeta water filters, educating on their use and care, and providing follow up to make sure they are used properly. I went along to visit a number of the families and was thrilled to see 100% of the filters in great working condition, recently cleaned and receiving rave reviews from the families, even after several months. During the visits many neighbors came out to ask how they too could get a filter, and it’s obvious that the momentum is building. While ANADESA to me seemed slow at first to get the filters distributed, it’s obvious that their approach has been highly successful, and that the QBeta filter is meeting the needs of the community, and exceeding expectations along the way.
TranSend volunteer with Virginia Mennonite Missions, Santiago Atitlan