Carmen: Water at her Doorstep

Carmen’s green eyes light up when she talks about having water in her home. She’s lived in Candelaria for more than 25 years; she owns a small store where she has to keep the refrigerator, shelves, and the store space clean. To do this, she had to get up at 3 AM to walk to the well and carry buckets of water back.

“Before, we had to carry water on our heads, sometimes two buckets of water on each trip. The well wasn’t so far away, but we had to go often and wait our turn to get out a bit of water,” remembers Carmen.

Depending on the time of the year, sometimes they had to go down to the stream and dig holes alongside the creek to get water. “And this water was dirty and contaminated,” says Carmen.

Now they have a water system with a tank that holds 25,000 liters of water with a water tap at each of the 79 households. “I keep the water tap clean; I put a fence around it so the children don’t damage it, and I have plants around it to keep it shaded,” says Carmen.

“Now we are so happy because we have water right at our homes. It is a blessing,” says Carmen. They use the water to drink, cook, clean, wash, bathe, and to grow plants around their homes.

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