Water Resources for Families in the Sanctuary Region
The Mondragon Family of the Los Remedios Ejido
(English | Spanish)

Imagine carrying 800 liters of water every day to your house from a well a half a mile away by foot! In the dry season (November to May), this is daily work for me and my family. We need water for preparing la comida (food), washing las ropas y los trastes (clothes and dishes), cleaning la casa (the house), watering las plantas (the plants), and feeding los animales (the animals).




When we plant las cosechas (the crops) in May, the greatest amount of water is needed and carrying it to the fields can be difficult. Of course la temporada de lluvia (rainy season) also begins in May and then nature does the work for us. During the rainy season (May - October), we collect as much water as possible in buckets, and store the extra water in our cement holding tank. Our family doesn't drink from this tank but uses the water for all other household purposes. Many people boil all of their water before drinking it, due to questions about its cleanliness.




For the last couple of years we have wished that the bomba (community water pump) was in working condition. With a long mangera (hose) hooked up to nuestro rancho (our farm), we would have easier access to the water that flows from the surrounding mountains. Yet it costs a lot to repair the pump and so it has not been a priority, especially in the rainy season when water resources are not such a problem.


During the rainy season, our family needs a different system for drying clothes--it's risky to hang them outside, so we usually hang everything in the house. In the morning there is more sol (sun) and el aire (the air) is warmer and drier air, so sometimes clothes can be out on the lines or under the roof. But look out! An afternoon tormenta (thunderstorm) can almost always be expected.

Because the rainy season comes during school vacation, children spend several hours a day inside playing escondidos (hide 'n seek), dibujar (drawing) and other juegos (games). The children would definitely prefer to be outside but, like most children, they do get excited about loud, rumbling thunderstorms.

Back in the town of Angangueo, the community is also concerned about water resources. German Medina explains:

"The families that live farther up the mountain have an advantage to the natural spring water. Sometimes they are careless about turning off water pipes. This of course makes water less available for families, such as ours, who live below. In general, those of a higher economic-status can afford three hours of water daily, others as little as one and a half hours every three days. The current president of Angangueo hopes to take underground water from the mines where the elevation is lower. This could supply the families in the lower neighborhoods. However, the local community is concerned about the quality of that water. Water from the mines would require chemical treatment and to follow, an increase in everyone's taxes."