You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

In Rural Panama, Clean Water at Last

  • Panama
    Beatriz Guerra, 19, led her community in the successful installation of a potable water system serving the entire village of Puente Blanco.
  • Panama
    The community succeeded in obtaining safe drinking water, not only for themselves but also for the neighboring village of Puente Medio.
  • Panama
    An old, contaminated well and a stagnant waterhole were the community’s primary water source before the installation of the potable water system.
  • Panama
    Children sit on one of the shuttered, polluted water wells.
  • Panama
    The decline of community illness and disease is also owed to improved health practices. The children learn about these in a fun way through interactive workshops provided by Red Cross volunteers.
  • Panama
    Children and youth have become highly involved in community clean-ups. Today they enjoy play and activities in clean spaces previously littered with trash and human waste.
  • Panama
    After a workshop, Red Cross volunteer, Cecilia, cooks with a community member. They use potable water from the new system to wash the food.
  • In Rural Panama, Clean Water at Last
    Today, thanks to joint efforts, community members and Red Cross volunteers can share a meal with full security that the food is clean and the water safe to drink.
The community succeeded in obtaining safe drinking water, not only for themselves but also for the neighboring village of Puente Medio.

Among acres of banana plantations in coastal Panama lies the village of Puente Blanco, an indigenous community where the main source of water used to be polluted wells and a stagnant waterhole. Today, potable water reaches every household of Puente Blanco and families are living in a healthier environment – thanks in part to the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross has been conducting sanitation and hygiene workshops in Puente Blanco for about two year s. After realizing that access to clean water was holding them back, the indigenous Ngöbe community decided to advocate for their right to safe drinking water. The community succeeded in obtaining potable water, not only for themselves but also for the neighboring village. Since then, quality of life has substantially improved in Puente Blanco, where cases of diarrhea, vomiting, fevers, and food poisoning have significantly decreased in the past months. To add to a culture of healthy living, the American Red Cross has worked with local volunteers to clean common areas now used for community gatherings, sport, and play.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Related