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5 Composting Latrines for La Chinantla

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Country: Mexico

Project Region: La Chinantla, Oaxaca

Project Page: Conservation of the Papaloapan River Watershed in La Chinantla, Oaxaca

This March in La Chinantla EcoLogic constructed 5 composting latrines with local community members from the community El Naranjal. 4 more latrines are due to be completed this month, but the rainy season and increased precipitation in tropical La Chinantla have caused delays. Such latrines help to reduce water pollution, improve community health, and even more importantly for EcoLogic—latrines serve as symbols and demonstrations of how to change habits and have pride in one’s community.

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How does this exemplify our core principle? 

The planning and installation of composting latrines is a highly collaborative process and directly involves local community members. A typical latrine can serve a 6-8 people, and a single family generally maintains it. Our field technicians spend weeks hosting educational workshops in communities to understand household hygiene and environmental needs, and spread knowledge on the importance of composting latrines for families and the environment. The communities and field technicians together decide where the composting latrines should be located and who should be the recipients, which depends on the ecologically sensitive areas in the community and population density. Local families are then trained on construction and maintenance of the composting latrines to ensure use and upkeep. Often, latrine recipients act as promoters during community meetings and become local champions for EcoLogic by increasing awareness and thus demand for this basic conservation solution.  

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For more on the engineering of latrines for proper composting:
http://www.ecologic.org/actions-issues/solutions/composting-latrines/

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