Approved, Work in Progress

Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club #86070, District 4140, Chapala, Mexico.

Ojo de Agua is a small village of approximately 300 people, nestled in Jalisco state between the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Chapala. It is blessed by a natural spring, but has inadequate water storage, distribution, and removal systems. Local sewage drains along a road and empties into the lake. The village is physically and culturally isolated from its local government; the villagers often fend for themselves with respect to public services, including water, transportation, trash removal, and health services.

Pilot Project

During 2017-18, the Chapala Sunrise Rotary worked with the local government in Poncitlán to build a retention tank in the village to improve water storage and accessibility. This had a positive effect on the village and cemented a partnership among the participants. It also led to the realization the village’s challenges are much larger than a single water tank.

Project Agua es Salud

The partners are committed to developing a comprehensive, multi-year effort to improve the quality of life in Ojo de Agua. Our partnerships have expanded to include Aipromades (a quasi- governmental environmental group dedicated to improving livelihoods through participatory management of the territory and natural resources around Lake Chapala and using them most effectively to enhance sustainability) and several Rotary Clubs in the United States and Canada. We intend to:

  1. Access and store sufficient potable water from the village’s natural spring.
  2. Provide a reliable and clean mechanism for distributing water throughout the village.
  3. Develop and implement a comprehensive (solid/liquid) waste treatment approach.
  4. Develop additional water and power sources.

Next Steps

We are developing and submitting a Rotary International Global Grant Proposal. In addition to this long-term project to ensure water and sanitation services for Ojo de Agua, we are continuing smaller, trust-building activities to address the village’s many needs. These include beautifying the central plaza to serve as a much needed community meeting space, establishing a first aid station, planting fruit trees, and providing water filters for household water consumption. Our goal is an Ojo de Agua with safe, clean water, distinct and sequestered waste, and empowered residents willing to develop and follow through on community developed solutions and to effectively work with the local government to continue to address challenges.

We welcome your support and participation!

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