El Projecto de Agua Pura/ The Clean Water Project: An International Partnership
Salpietro, Christina M
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Thursday, September 25, 2014: Sigma Theta Tau International 2014 Leadership Connection, September 24-27, 2014, Indianapolis, IN: El Projecto de Agua Pura; The Clean Water Project: An International Partnership; Christina Salpietro, Senior nursing student, and Corrie Hansen, Junior nursing student. Advisors: Kim Larson, PhD, RN and Deby Tyndall, MSN, RN, Beta Nu Chapter. Unsafe drinking water is a significant but treatable problem in Guatemala. More infant and child deaths can be attributed to the use of contaminated water than any other cause. Since 2008, nursing faculty from East Carolina University (ECU) College of Nursing have conducted a 3-week cultural immersion program in Guatemala. During this program, students study Spanish and engage in community health work in villages with identified needs. The College of Nursing and La Unin Centro Lingstico, our international partner, collaborate each year on community service learning projects. One such project has been a primary care outreach clinic in a remote Mayan village where we have identified multiple families with intestinal infections who did not have a source of clean water. The purpose of this project is four-fold. First, to develop an understanding of the connection between water and health. Second, to improve access to potable water in one remote Guatemalan village. Third, to increase the use of water filtration systems. Fourth, to eliminate infectious diseases that results from contaminated water. Nursing faculty and staff from La Unin expanded their partnership to include Soluciones Comunitares, a non-profit Guatemalan organization that builds low-cost table-top water filtration systems. A fund-raising initiative began with U.S.-based partners to purchase these water filters. In the summer of 2014, nursing students created and performed a sociodrama with Mayan community members that depicted the consequences of drinking contaminated water on health, including the cost of treating the illnesses. This sociodrama introduced a workshop by international partners on the care and use of the water filters. Nursing students and international partners distributed 71 water filters to families in the Mayan village. In 2015, using community-based participatory research methods, we intend to assess program effectiveness.