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Employee-owners provide clean water to 150 Guatemalan families

August 2021


In early August, employee-owner Jeff Seal and eight others from Garney traveled to the village of Los Limones, Guatemala, to oversee the finishing touches of a new water system installation. Prior to the installation, women and children of the village made treacherous hikes daily to collect buckets of water for their families—sometimes spending hours a day to collect water for a single meal. The villagers also told stories about contracting water-borne illnesses due to the uncleanliness of the water. It was time to make a change to better the lives of the Los Limones residents.

Construction of the water system consisted of a concrete spring catchment system, 12,000 feet of 2-inch transmission main, a concrete wet well and solar-powered pump, 13,000-gallon water tank, and 26,000 feet of distribution piping to 150 individual homes. The village residents provided their time and labor to construct the project. Garney, Lipscomb University, and other volunteers worked with Asociacion Para El Desarrollo Integral Comun Ak’ Yuam (ADICAY), a local engineering firm to help design, plan, and oversee construction of the project. In addition to building the new water system, the project team worked with the village to establish a water committee to maintain the water system.

The Garney employee-owners who accompanied Seal included Mike Heitmann, David Burkhart, Jay McQuillen, Jordan Carrier, Tom Roberts, Neil Ryan, Edwin (Felix) Cabrera, and Edgar Elias. Cabrera and Elias both have family living in Guatemala and were able to reconnect with them during downtime from the project.

“For me, knowing the impact that Garney’s contribution made to the villagers was very fulfilling. The immediate impact is the availability of water. The long-term impact is better educated children, lower infant mortality rates, and longer lifespans for the Mayan people,” said Garney CEO Mike Heitmann.

The project concluded on August 8, 2021, and now provides clean water to 150 families in the area. The villagers expressed great gratitude towards all parties involved. Garney is honored to be a part of this project and looks forward to returning to Guatemala to provide water to even more families.

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