With a goal of reaching 604,000 people in Mexico with water conservation and hygiene education, Project WET and Ecolab have been working together on a series of events and meetings to launch the Clean and Conserve Education Program there.
Project WET Foundation International Project Assistant Allison Howe will travel to Mexico later this month for a training with several organizations interested in helping implement the curriculum, which includes educational resources for ages three and up to learn about key concepts around water and health.
Last month, Project WET CEO Dennis Nelson joined Allison for meetings at Conagua (the Mexican National Water Agency) in Mexico City. With assistance from Rita Vasquez of the Mexican Institute for Water Technology (IMTA), approximately 30 representatives from different organizations around Mexico took part in Clean and Conserve lessons. The group also made plans to roll out this fall’s “train-the-trainer” workshops to reach more people in Mexico.
These plans build on launch programs held earlier in the year, including water festivals that were held in Mexico City and Monterrey and included Ecolab employee-volunteers from the two cities. In Mexico City, 21 Ecolab volunteers planned and delivered a water festival at the Miguel Hidalgo Elementary School, located in the rural community of Santa Maria. The school—which has more than 1,100 students—is close to Ecolab’s facility in Cuautitlán, north of Mexico City. Approximately 140 students from Miguel Hidalgo took part in the program, which included three learning stations, each led by a team of Ecolab employees. After the festival, one of the volunteers enthused that "the kids are like sponges—they absorb all this knowledge!"
In Monterrey, 26 Ecolab employees visited a school about 15 minutes from Ecolab’s Monterrey facility. Ecolab has had an ongoing relationship with the school, with volunteers devoting time to painting and other upkeep as well as gardening. At the festival, 120 students spent 45 minutes at each station learning about different water conservation and hygiene concepts. "I'm so happy with the organization and the kids’ response," an Ecolab employee-volunteer said when the festival was over.
After Allison’s training workshops later this fall have been completed, additional water festivals will be held at local Mexican schools.
To download the Clean and Conserve materials in Spanish for Mexico, visit www.projectwet.org/cleanandconserve/mx.
Mexico is one of four target markets launching the Clean and Conserve Education Program, which is designed to reach two million people with interactive water conservation and hygiene education by the end of 2017. All materials in the program are available for download and use at no charge. To date, translations and customizations of all materials have been completed in English, Mandarin and Spanish for Mexico. The Activity Guide for Educators is also available in Portuguese for Brazil and French for Canada. German-language customization is underway.
The Project WET Foundation's partnership with Ecolab is part of Ecolab's Solutions for Life program, which enhances the company’s work to conserve water and improve hygiene around the world through partnerships with leading NGOs, global philanthropy and employee volunteerism.