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Guatemala has a water scarcity problem; this summer we’re going there to help

Carbonaro Clean Water Mission: Dispatch 1 

After careful deliberation, we are excited to announce that our Veterans Without Orders’ Mission Team has picked a location and date for our mission to Guatemala this summer.

We will be traveling to Livingston, Guatemala from July 27th – July 31st to bring Sawyer water filters and sanitation training to villages in the area. We have secured an in-country guide that will take us to these villages by foot and canoe. And we have begun coordinating with our local partners there on a multi-year plan to sustain our mission efforts after we leave.

If you are interested in donating to our mission, visit our Carbonaro Mission: Guatemala fundraising page.

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Why we chose Guatemala

There are a few issues we took into consideration when selecting this country and region for our mission efforts. As an impoverished country with half of its citizens living below the poverty level, Guatemala has long suffered from “economic water scarcity”.

Economic water scarcity is caused by a lack of investment in water infrastructure. In these situations there may be ample water supply, but populations who cannot afford to use it cannot access it.

Over the past several years, severe droughts causing “physical water scarcity” have become a problem in Guatemala too. In 2015, BBC covered how Guatemala families struggle for food in Central American drought. More recently, journalist Lauren Markham wrote this insightful piece about how Drought And Climate Change Are Forcing Young Guatemalans To Flee To The U.S.

For many Guatemalans, the situation today is untenable. Drought has had a profound effect on food security and is compounded by contaminated water that causes GI diseases like diarrhea that wash away already scarce nutrients. Over half of children under five are suffering from chronic malnutrition. And the child mortality rate is the highest in Central America, owing in large part to water-related illness.

Over 1 million Guatemalans don’t have access to clean water and 6 million don’t have access to sanitation.

Empowered women can solve the water crisis

As with all of our missions, the Guatemala mission team deployed by Veterans Without Orders recognizes the capacity of local women as the solution to their community’s safe water needs. That’s why our programs are targeted specifically towards mothers of small children.

Our goal is to bring 30 clean water filters and sanitation training to the women living in small villages outside of Livingston, Guatemala. And the beauty of our mission model is that we can bring as many as our crowdfunding campaigns can raise.

Our mission honors Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro 

Every clean water mission we conduct is dedicated in the name of a military serviceman or woman who was killed in action during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We believe that by doing this, we can honor each individual and allow their memory to live on through the gift of clean water to those most in need.

The Carbonaro Mission: Guatemala is dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro of Bethesda, MD.

If you want to learn more about the Carbonaro Mission: Guatemala, please visit our crowdfunding page.

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