Water — Do not drink the water in Guatemala

Barnabas at cermanic water filters_2049
Image by hoyasmeg via Flickr

Water — Do not drink the water in Guatemala, even in the cities, as disease-causing organisms are endemic. Ask for bottled drinking water (agua pura or agua purificada) at your hotel, and whenever you can, pick up a bottle of spring or purified water (available in most markets) to have handy.

You would also do well to brush your teeth with purified water.

A simple solution to this problem is using a product developed by a group called Potters for peace. This idea lets call it is a simple form of water purification using a specially treated clay pot.

A ceramic water filter is a simple, bucket-shaped (11” wide by 10” deep) clay vessel that is made from a mix (by weight) of local terra-cotta clay and sawdust or other combustibles, such as rice husks. The filters are formed by using a press.
The simplest press utilizes a hand-operated hydraulic truck jack and two-piece aluminum mold. Filters are fired to about 860 deg. C. and the milled, screened combustible material burns out, leaving porous clay walls. The filters are tested to make sure they meet a standard rate of filtration and then they are coated with colloidal silver. The combination of fine pore size and the bactericidal properties of colloidal silver produce an effective filter.

Potters For Peace
Potters for Peace is a U.S. based nonprofit, a network of potters, educators, technicians, supporters, and volunteers. Founded in Nicaragua in 1986, we work with clay artisans in Central America and worldwide on ceramic water purification projects.
PFP is a unique organization devoted to socially responsible development and grass roots accompaniment among potters.

MISSION STATEMENT?Our goals are to offer support, solidarity and friendship to developing world potters; to assist with appropriate technologies sustained using local skills and materials; to help preserve cultural traditions; and to assist in marketing locally, regionally and internationally. The vast majority of potters in Central America are rural women and the core work for Potters for Peace has always been assisting these hard-working people to earn a better living.

WATER FILTERS?Every day 5,000 children die due to unsanitary water, (WHO 2005). Since 1998 Potters for Peace has traveled the world teaching the fabrication of a low-cost ceramic water filter that can bring clean, potable water to those who need it most. We do not make, store or distribute ceramic water filters nor do we operate filter production facilities. Instead, we assist responsible local partners to set up filter production and distribution facilities.



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