- Press release
- Water in the time of Coronavirus
- Tuesday April 28, 2020
Juana Reyes Bocanegra and her family live in the ranching community of La Luz located in a remote area between San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo. Having been born and raised there, she is aware that community members have always battled for access to the dwindling supply of water.
In 2004, a well was finally drilled near La Luz – serving 8-9 small communities. Things were better for a while, but over time, the well provided less water and the population grew. Today, water access is sporadic at best with water available only two or three hours a day but never arriving on a set schedule. “If you’re at your house when the water arrives, you can collect it, but if [you’re not at home], you go the whole day without water,” says Juana.
Over time, Juana has become an expert at managing her family’s water, but, despite her tight controls and ability to recycle as much as possible, the family still struggles to have enough water to drink, cook, wash, and bathe.
Given the family’s history of battling for water, Andrea, one of Juana’s daughters, was eager to participate in a rainwater harvesting project with Caminos de Agua (Caminos) at the local high school she attends. At the end of the program, and when her family’s water scarcity situation was made known, they were chosen to further collaborate with Caminos and build a rainwater harvesting system for their home.
This opportunity is going to make a huge change in the lives of Juana and her family. By capturing and storing the clean, healthy water that nature provides, the family’s water needs will be better provided for.
But now, to escape infection with COVID-19, Juana and her family will have to wash their hands many more times a day, wash down all surfaces, and clean everything that comes into their house. They must do all this while managing to stay well hydrated and take care of their normal water needs.
Caminos de Agua is working with Juana and her family – as well as 10 other families – right now to get these rainwater systems built as quickly as possible, while taking all precautions to protect staff and community participants. For these families, having these rainwater harvesting systems will make the difference between being at serious risk and being able to take measures to minimize the threat.
Caminos de Agua is clear about its mission during this crisis. There are tens of thousands of people right here in the region they work in who were already suffering from dwindling water supplies and increasing water contamination before the Coronavirus came on to the scene.
Now, to have a fighting chance as the virus approaches, many of these communities need greater access to clean water and new strategies on how to minimize the spread when enough water isn’t available.
To do this, Caminos is moving very quickly to produce new educational programming with a focus on communities with water contamination and extremely limited water access.
To find out more about Caminos de Agua and their work visit www.caminosdeagua.org
San Miguel Times Newsroom