The simple bottle became a distinct part of her childhood, symbolizing the ever-present need for water that strained her family’s resources and the health of her community. “My life before participating in FH programs was very difficult,” Juana remembers, “especially because in my home we did not have enough water, which cost us a lot.”
The nearest water was available for sale in a market several kilometres away, making water an added expense which Juana’s family didn’t always have enough money to buy.
“I remember when I was in Grade 2,” she recalls, “my teacher asked us to bring a bottle of water to school so we could wash our hands and teeth. The lack of water in my community affected us everyday because we had to get up very early to go to the store and my mother had to save the little water she had.”
Today, Juana is in Grade 7, and the water bottle has faded to a memory—a memory she carries with her as a reminder of how her community has grown.
“I no longer have to carry my water bottle, because now thanks to the water system, every day in the community we have water. The children are already enjoying this benefit and will no longer have to carry their water bottle as I once did. I am very grateful that now we can use water at all times.”
For Juana’s family, access to water has not only cut household costs, but improved their crops and family income, meaning Juana can eat nutritious food and buy school supplies. These changes will help Juana as she works toward her dream of studying medicine and becoming a doctor to support her family and community.
“I feel very happy,” she smiles, “to see the beautiful changes in my life and in my community through all the activities that FH has carried out for the families of Xonca!”