Ni Muertos!

By in Clean Water, Field Stories

In Mexico, there is generally high coverage of water access across the country, but most people doubt the quality of water coming out of their pipes. They know there are many places along the way that can bring contamination so people often buy bottled drinking water, even if they have running taps in their homes. Yet there is still a level of uncertainty with the bottled water sources—people doubt whether the treatment technology is safe or the plant is up to standards.

On a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico I got to sit in on a meeting as our HWI Mexico Staff went over the project model with potential new site leaders. Miguel, our Mexico Team’s Equipment Expert, went over in detail the functions of each element of the water purification equipment. At one point, Miguel mentioned that other types of treatment may kill bacteria and viruses, but not remove them. He went on to ask the group “would you rather have water with dead viruses and bacteria, or water free of viruses and bacteria?” Right after he said this, one of the potential new site leaders yelled “ni muertos!” meaning “Not even the dead ones!”

That line stuck with me for some reason. I’m extremely proud of our systems and how they stand out against other types of water purification—our systems conserve more water, are extremely easy to maintain, and produce safer water than standard systems. Despite these distinctions, it was this “ni muertos!” statement that inspired me because it was full of so much excitement! In a place where people are distrusting of water in so many ways, it was so great to see our partners get excited about truly clean water, while committing themselves to providing the highest quality of clean water to members of their communities.