Many of Mexico’s rural areas, especially those inhabited by indigenous populations, experience a concerning lack of potable water. Water sources are not easily accessible and ordering water via pipas (water trucks) is very expensive, plus the pipas often can’t reach the highlands. Since rural communities are highly marginalized, they must walk long distances to reach a water source and carry it back on steep trails. In some cases, people survive on using only 6 or 7 liters (1.5 or 1.8 gallons) of water per day. These combined issues lead to health problems, school dropouts, and fewer opportunities for women.
Isla Urbana works to install rainwater harvesting systems in areas of high necessity, such as the Wixárika communities in the Sierra of Jalisco, Mazatecas populations in Oaxaca, and with the Rarámuris in Chihuahua. To date, we have worked in 35 indigenous communities installing rainwater harvesting systems and conducting environmental education programs. Our largest project is Ha Ta Tukari in Jalisco’s Wixárika Sierra, where since 2010 we have installed over 100 systems and supplied more than 3 communities with water.