I donated in support of this campaign.
Guatemala is rich in beauty and Mayan culture, but it is also one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. Approximately 54% of the population lives below the national poverty line and 11.5% lives in extreme poverty. The country is in a state of "economic water scarcity".
Economic water scarcity is caused by a lack of investment in water infrastructure or insufficient human capacity to satisfy the demand of water in areas where the population cannot afford to use an adequate source of water.
FACT 1: One million Guatemalans don't have access to clean water and 6 million don't have access to sanitation.
FACT 2: As a tropical country prone to natural disasters, nearly all its major diseases are water-related.
FACT 3: Guatemala has one of the worst rates of malnutrition in the world, with half of all children younger than five suffering from chronic malnutrition linked in part to water contamination.
FACT 4: Guatemala has one of (it's in the top 3) the highest infant mortality rate of the Central American countries, owing in large part to water contamination.
FACT 5: Severe droughts have impacted the region, jeopardizing economic development and food security.
The effects of this reality are high rates of illness and death that lead to continued poverty and depressed social-economic development, a cycle that must be broken.
We believe the simple act of providing a cost-effective portable filter system to make clean drinking water inside the home, in conjunction with our sanitation training, will help the population most at risk: single mothers with young children. In honor of fallen service member Alessandro Carbonaro, the Carbonaro Mission: Guatemala team will travel to a remote region of eastern Guatemala outside of Livingston to distribute 30 Sawyer water filters to these women. We have an in-country guide that will take us to several villages that are only accessible by foot or canoe.
In addition to distributing portable clean water systems we will conduct sanitation training, develop relationships with local leaders and residents, and assess future missions in coordination with our partners living in the affected areas. The result will be our five-year plan to make a lasting impact in this at-risk region of Guatemala.
Starting with our first mission to Haiti in 2015, we have been dedicating each clean water mission in the name of a military serviceman or woman who was killed in action during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We believe that by doing this, we can honor fallen individuals and allow their memories to live on through the gift of clean water given to those most in need.
All mission donations go directly to Honor Project costs. These include the purchase of water filters, and travel and logistics for each veteran-led mission. The beauty of our mission model is that veterans can transport as many water filters as you help raise.
Visit our website to learn more about us: www.veteranswithoutorders.org
Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro graduated from Sandy Spring High School, MD in 1997. He enjoyed ice hockey and playing music. He and several friends were in a band that played local shows before he deployed. He joined the Marines after the 2001 terrorist attacks and was deployed twice to Iraq. On his first tour, Alessandro was injured in Fallujah and received a Purple Heart.
He returned to Iraq in March 2012. His family said their Marine son was totally committed to serving his country and the war effort. "He only had his job to do and that's all that really mattered," his father said. Fulvio Carbonaro said doctors at the hospital who treated Alessandro were deeply moved by his personality and dedication and planted a tree in a park near the hospital in his memory.