Building Baños Is a satisfying, 6-day project for work-groups and ongoing volunteers interested in supporting hygiene by building a bathroom for a family in the community . . .
Throughout the world, there are 2.6 billion people who do not have access to any form of proper sanitation. That means no bathroom, no shower, and no way to effectively dispose of their waste or maintain proper hygiene.
For those of us who are fortunate enough to have access to these basic human necessities, we shower in clean bathrooms, flush our toilets, and never think twice about it. This is not the case in El Porvenir, Honduras, where many families have no form of a bathroom or shower and the ones that do, have crumbling, unsanitary structures that become hot-spots for diseases and sickness.
The children who live in these poverty stricken situations are the most affected by the environmental contamination that comes with the lack of proper sanitation and facilities. They are constantly at risk for stomach and intestinal diseases, parasites, malnutrition, and many skin diseases that are a result of bathing themselves in contaminated water sources.
As our HCA volunteers work with the children of El Porvenir, we have noticed that many families lack the basic resources necessary to raise their children in a sanitary, healthy environment. Although our primary focus is on working with children in an educational setting, we feel inspired to try to address some of the underlying factors that contribute to health issues, in hopes of improving the lives of our students and their families. We teach the kids about health and hygiene in our programs and these construction projects are a great way for us to reach out even further into the community in order to provide families with the simple necessities that many of us take for granted.
For the Building Baños Project, we build sustainable structures that require little maintenance so that they will benefit the families for a longer period of time. The majority of our time is devoted to building out-house style bathrooms for families, including toilets, showers, sinks, and walls. Based on the needs of the families we are working with, we sometimes also build furniture, pilas (large sinks/tubs full of clean water for washing, etc.), or pour concrete floors.
It is important to note that the Building Baños Project is run entirely by Honduras Child Alliance volunteers and we are the ones doing the construction, along with the families’ participation. Our organization does not have administrative costs or paid employees within this project, therefore all donations go directly towards the purchase of materials.
Each $25 dollars buys the truckload of sand required to make concrete for a floor, every $8 dollars buys a bag of cement mix, every 25 cents buys the PVC fittings to run water lines, and every 5 cents buys a bag of water for the hardworking Honduran children who always find a way to pick up one of our shovels or swing one of our hammers in order to help out in any way that they can.
We understand that it is vitally important for the families who benefit to be involved in the whole process so that they have a sense of ownership over the projects. Our goal is to help families who are working hard to better their lives and we aim to provide resources and the means to do so. Many residents of El Porvenir (including members of families who previously received bathrooms) are willing volunteers to help us with these projects because our projects help to build a stronger, healthier community. The people of El Porvenir have been able to see the positive impacts that previous projects have had on the community and its families, and we will continually be collaborating with them to build more projects and provide families with the means to live healthier lives.
Check out this Baño work-group!