New Life Mexico initiated a “clean drinking water” programme in the City of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for children in 2010. The first “Water House” was built at the offices of Child Protection and was quickly followed up by the construction of another at Centro Salud, the Health Department in Pitillal. The City has two hundred and ninety-five schools, all of which were in need of clean drinking water.
New Life Mexico began the task of fundraising for the construction of each Water House at a cost of between £3,000-£6,000 each, depending on drainage/mains water accessibility at the school. The British Mexican Society were one of the earliest sponsors providing funds for a local primary school in the Colonia of Ixtapa in 2010.
In 2015 New Life Mexico had raised funds to provide clean drinking water in for thirty-six schools. Each water house had filters and a UV lamps cleaning the mains water provided by Seapal Vallarta, the State water Company. The Water Houses were maintained by New Life Mexico on a monthly basis changing filters and lamps as required.
In 2015 Seapal Vallarta’s new Chairman acknowledged the great need to provide clean drinking water to children and admired New Life Mexico’s dedication to the provide this. He made a commitment to finish the programme by providing Water Houses to the remaining two hundred and sixty pre-school, primary, secondary, high school and universities in the City. The commitment was completed in January 2018, benefiting over 75,000 children. Puerto Vallarta is the first City in Mexico to provide clean drinking water to every educational establishment.
Clean Drinking water is sold in the city in 20 litre bottles to houses at a cost of approximately £1.00. To some households this is beyond their financial means, and to stop them drinking dirty water Seapal Vallarta now provides thirty-three locations in the City where subsidised water can be brought, and free tokens are given to households where necessary. Water Houses and Drinking Fountains have also been installed in tourist areas such as the Malecon/Board Walk and at local sports stadiums.
The programme was created with the objective of contributing a positive impact on the health and education of the students of the municipality by :
- Preventing the risk of diseases related to high weather temperatures to which students are exposed and decrease the number of children taken into hospital with dehydration.
- Supporting families financially by reducing the expense generated with the purchase water.
- Encouraging the increase in drinking water consumption, reducing the consumption of sugary drinks such as juices and soft drinks, which have an impact on diseases such as obesity and childhood diabetes.
- Helping reduce the generation of rubbish, generated by the waste generated by the plastic of the bottles.