Francisco Javier Palacios is creating healthier futures in the district of San Rafael del Norte, Nicaragua by changing the way people think about sanitation.
For sanitation to be sustainable and reach Everyone Forever, the entire marketplace has to be considered. There must be market demand for toilets, access to capital for families to invest in them, locally available construction supplies, and local knowledge about how to construct safe and hygienic sanitation facilities. That’s where Francisco comes in.
Francisco was one of 36 masons trained by Water For People and a local partner, Cuculmeca, to construct sanitation facilities. This training sparked his passion to make sure his community is educated about the importance of safe and hygienic sanitation services and that Everyone has the resources to pursue their own healthier futures – Forever.
"It is very important that a community has access to water and sanitation, because they are basic needs," says Francisco. "Nobody can live without water, and when a community has access to water, everyone lives better and is healthy – which is the most important thing. Sanitation goes hand in hand with health."
Francisco has been busy since completing the masonry training – not only building bathrooms, but also applying to go back to school. Armed with a commitment to continue learning and create change in his community, he applied to a technical school with a two-year program focused on drinking water, with the goal of becoming a water technician. With this more advanced training, he’ll be able to create larger scale change by educating his community about water resources management and why safe water and sanitation are critical to the future of their families, communities, and to all of Nicaragua.
"My main goal is to share my knowledge with other people so that we will all be educated. Then our home, our community, our municipality, and finally our country can change – starting with us."