Clean water for El Potrero





History Logs

Project Description

Region: Central America

Country: Guatemala

Location: El Potrero

Total Budget: $39,000

Area of Focus: Water, sanitation and hygiene

This project will increase awareness of the benefits of clean water, sanitation and hygiene and enhance and strengthen the access and capacity of safe drinking water. One component will be interactive education programs that will enhance the communities' knowledge of the benefits of safe water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene. A second component will be assistance in development a new safe water source for the community and the training and education in the maintenance and governance of the system for a sustainable future.

Community description: The community of El Potrero is part of the village of El Tablón which is in the northern part of the municipality and department of Sololá, just north of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. The Mayan language spoken by the people is Kakchiquel.

Background: The water system in the community of El Potrero was built more than 34 years ago. Originally 30 families had been included in this gravity-fed system, which has a source is in the mountains on the northwest side of the village. There are some families who have some water every day (2 hours during a day). Other families do not have water at home at all. These families use water from their relatives, collect water or purchase water. Purchasing water is very expensive due to transportation, as the location of the community is remote. The shortage of water causes the children and mothers of the families to spend a lot of time looking for and collecting water every day, thus decreasing school attendance for children, and lessening other opportunities for women. The new project is planned to serve 85 families with an estimated population of 350.

Community Commitment: The community has shown a commitment to the project and the sustainability. The community has a Community Based Organization, called the COCODE (Community Development Council) The committee has been able to buy the spring of water for this project, the cost of the spring was Q 115,000 (US$ 15,132), and this purchase was made by the entire community in which 85 families contributed. The committee has been able to buy the land where the distribution tank will be built for this project. The cost of the land was Q50,000 (US $ 6,579) and this purchase was made by the entire community in which 85 families contributed. All members of the community can participate in the COCODE. To be part of the committee, people from the community propose the candidates in an assembly and select members through a vote.

Parters: The community with the support of Rotary and EWB-USA Guatemala office will make a governance plan to manage, maintain and operate the water system, for its self-sustainability. Rotary and EWB-USA Guatemala do periodic follow-up on all their projects with the communities.

Project costs listed on this site are only those funded by Rotary. The local municipality and the community are both also contributing to this project. The municipality will contribute $13,280 and the community will contribute $5789. The community will also supply unskilled labor for the project.

This project is also supported by Engineers without Borders USA (EWB-USA). EWB-USA will be assisting with technical design and implementation. EWB-USA has an in-country team in Guatemala and they will be partnering with the EWB-USA Fort Collins Professional Chapter.

Budget note: Please note that the draft budget is less than full budget listed on grant, as the draft budget does not include some sanitation work that was requested by host Rotary Club and Community after initial draft budget was completed.

Primary Host Partner

District: 4250

Rotary Club of: E-Club of Lake Atitlán-Panajachel

Primary Contact: Jessica Kind

Email: jessicakinddr@gmail.com

Primary International Partner

District: 5440

Rotary Club of: Fort Collins

Primary Contact: John Trone

Email: john.trone@fortcollinsrotory.org

Project Status

Your project is "Fully Pledged". This means the amount of the pledges is equal to the total budget of the project. Now the project needs to be finalized and go through the approval process with The Rotary Foundation. This process gets started on the administration page.

Project listed for the 2021-22 Rotary Year.

The TRF Grant application number is #2125241.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Fort Collins (5440)





Glenview-Sunrise (6440)





District 6440 DDF





Fort Collins (5440)





Amount Requested from The Rotary Foundation






DDF contributions in grey are pending approval of the corresponding district committee.

Note: as of July 1, 2015 there is a 5% additional support fee for cash contributions. This fee does not appear in the financials above because it does not apply if the funds are sent directly to the project account (without going through TRF, and therefore without Paul Harris credit). Clubs sending their cash contribution to TRF must be aware they will have to send an additional 5%.

Project Supporting Documents

Project Photos

History Log Entries


by John Trone

System Entry: Creation of project page.


System Entry

System Entry: Pledge of $5,000 with $2,508 DDF by Mary Pribyl of the Rotary Club of Glenview-Sunrise, District 6440.


by John Trone

System Entry: Pledge of $3,516 DDF by Chester Ray Zeiss of the Rotary Club of Wilmette, District 6440.


by John Trone

System Entry: Pledge of $158 by John Trone of the Rotary Club of Fort Collins, District 5440.


by John Trone

System Entry: Project is now "Fully Pledged".


by John Trone

On April 28th, Jessica Kind and Joe Wakely, from the Rotary Club of Lake Atitlan, visited the El Potrero community to meet the COCODE (Consejo Comunitarios de Desarrollo) and community members. Todd Thompson, from Rotary Northfield MN, also visited. The community is excited about the project and Rotary's involvement. I have uploaded some of the pictures from the visit to the photo tab.


by John Trone

A second meeting was held on 6/17/2021 with the Los Consejos Comunitarios de Desarrollo (COCODE)(Community development board) of El Potrero. Jessica Kind of the Rotary Club of Lake Atitlan participated along with Waleska Crowe and Arturo Ujpan from EWB.

Topics discussed:

Clarification of the responsibilities of the different parties involved (Rotary, EWB) into the project. It was very important for the COCODES to understand who we are and what is the relationship between the stakeholders.

Talking about the importance of the sanitation situation for the water project. The COCODES pointed out that the access to water is the most important for the community.


by John Trone

Engineering team is doing a survey of tank, spring and house locations. EWB is working local students on the survey.

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