In 2013, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (SIUE) signed a partnership agreement with the community of Virginia in Guatemala to help them find a solution to the water issues that plague their community. The lack of clean drinking water causes illness and sometimes death in small children. Since their initial trip in 2013, SIUE students and their Engineers Without Borders mentors have surveyed the land, done water quality testing and designed a system that they believe will be the most effective for the community. Implementation for Virginia is slated for 2017.
This original partnership has led to the expansion of the MSPP water program to include the neighboring communities of Las Mojarras, (2014) and San Alfonso (2015). All three communities have similar water needs and MSPP has begun the task of addressing the issues in each community.
Las Mojarras has a rudimentary water system present in the community. Since the implementation of this system the community has grown from 25 families to 180. The system is in disrepair and is not sufficient to supply the families with accessible, clean water. MSPP has done preliminary water testing and surveying in the community and plans to visit Las Mojarras to discuss their next steps in 2017.