When SELF first started working in Villa Nueva, many community members described themselves as the “forgotten village”. For nearly 50 years, this community has been without clean water, forced to carry buckets of water hundreds of yards from contaminated wells to their homes and much of this tedious and exhausting task falls on the women and children. The animated passion of Villa Nueva community members is infectious, and from the very beginning, they have been ready to hit the ground running and work hard for the future generations of their village.
Located along one of the main roads between Tegucigalpa and Danlí, Villa Nueva has few trees for shade and the community is very hot and dry. A small rural village, Villa Nueva is only about a 20-minute drive from the SELF offices and is a part of the municipality of Morocelí. There is a primary elementary school, but the nearest school for more advanced education is nearly 30 minutes away.
Villa Nueva consists of more than 150 people, in 45 families, with nearly equal proportions of male and female. There is a large portion of women participating in the active community organizations including the Community Council “Patronato” and the Water Board. Most of the villagers who are able to work do so in agriculture, especially at the local sugar cane factory and watermelon farms.
As is often the case, the community partnership with SELF and Villa Nueva started with several health and dental collaboratives. Villa Nueva community members have also been very active with the SELF vivero tree nurseries and reforestation program, especially as their community clearly needs more trees. Soon after starting work in this community, however, SELF realized that clean water was an extremely urgent priority. Although a daunting task, both the community members and SELF knew that we had to prioritize clean water for the community before we could accomplish anything else. Definitely the largest Clean Water Team Project SELF has undertaken, having extremely motivated community members and strong partners including Rotary International and World Vision has made it much easier. While planning started back in 2018, the project itself took more than a year to complete.
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