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Water & Sanitation

A Team of Female Engineers Brought Running Water to This Guatemalan Village

By Joanna Prisco for Global Citizen

Residents of the small Guatemalan village La Esperanza, or Hope, once had to walk miles to collect clean water for daily use.

Now, thanks to the dedication of five female engineering students from the University of North Florida, all 1,000 inhabitants have access to running faucets.

Take Action:  Urge Governments And Businesses To Invest In Clean Water And Toilets

“They can turn on their tap, and they have water in every home,” said Taylor Broussard, who along with team members Sammy Kovalenko, Rosie Pinto, Amber Slack, and Piper Austin, were interviewed about the experience in a report by Action News Jax.

The students prepared for a year in advance of the trip, studying soil samples and designing an appropriate drinking water distribution system, with oversight from their professor, Dr. Chris Brown.

Once they arrived at the village, the students’ time was spent taking measurements, digging trenches, and installing pipes — a far cry from the debauchery common to most college spring break plans.

Read more: Photos of Cape Town in Crisis After City’s Water Runs Out

“I actually went into engineering with the hopes of helping humanity, so to me, it was a no brainer that I would rather go spend my spring break helping a community,” said Broussard in the interview.

In addition to opening up channels for clean water, the women may have also laid a new path for young ladies in the village.

“I think we really opened their eyes to what the women in their community can do,” Broussard said in the report.

Global Citizen campaigns on ensuring all people have access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation systems. You can take action here.