Cuilapa, Guatemala – In First Person

We travel today to Cuilapa, Guatemala. Edith lives with her three daughters, her two sisters, and her mother. Edith’s neighborhood of Canton Utzumazate is quiet and beautiful, but doesn’t have access to safe drinking water, electricity or paved roads. The families living there must buy safe water weekly to cook their food and practice safe hygiene. During this pandemic, Edith’s family has followed the government’s advice to wash their hands often, but it has proven to be an expensive task for their large family.

Edith used to work as a housekeeper for a family, but lost her job because of the quarantine. With schools closed, her girls can no longer attend our partner boarding school, Hogar Santa Rosa de Lima, making the situation extremely difficult as Edith struggles to feed her entire family on no income.

According to a 2019 report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, billions of people around the world continue to suffer from poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene. The report states that “some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed (free from contamination) drinking water services, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services, and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities.” This lack of access has proven especially dangerous to vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the most-emphasized piece of health advice – wash your hands often – remains out of reach for so many.

Share this article:


Last articles in

Explore the compelling stories of immigrant Latinx women and their children in New York City, shedding light on their challenges and triumphs through powerful two to three-minute videos in this collaborative project by Equity for Children, The StoryCenter, and Voces Latinas.
In July 2023, the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Biennial on Early Childhood, Childhood, and Youth convened in Manizales, Colombia. It brought together more than 1500 academics, researchers, civil society stakeholders, social organizations, and policymakers from 22 countries and 186 cities throughout Latin America.

Quick search

Type any word of phrase you would like to search in the “Keyword field” and click on “Search” button.
You may also use the Advanced search tool to fine tune your search.