Doña Luisa

Standing at just over five feet tall, Luisa Barahona is a petite tour de force. As the President of El Negrito’s Water Board Association in Honduras, she is on a quest to make sure Everyone across the municipality has access to safe water Forever. Over the past six years we’ve watched Doña Luisa’s influence spread from her neighbors and friends to communities across the region.

When she first started as the secretary of the Gonzalo Maldonado Water Committee, Doña Luisa convinced households in her community to install water meters and establish a system where households only pay for the water they use, a model that now helps the community fix and maintain their water system.

“The meters are like teachers,” she says. “They teach the community how to take care of their water system.”

As the water board’s president she introduced sanitation loans (a first for Honduras) to help 16 families in the Las Crucitas community build pour-flush toilets. The loans, which the board distributes to the committees, are paid back through the user’s monthly bills.

“I do what I can to support my community,” Doña Luisa explains. “I give my time. I don’t like to say no. I feel happy helping people.”

Her impact goes beyond the number of meters installed and tariffs collected in her own community. She has galvanized 25 water committees that belong to the association to operate, administer, and maintain their water systems, increased user education, and fostered the participation of women in the association and on the boards.

“When I first met Doña Luisa in 2008, it was clear she was not just a strong Honduran woman and leader,” explains Mark Duey, the Latin America Regional Manager at Water For People. “But that she had what it takes to create systemic change in her home district of El Negrito and lead the charge on Forever there.”

But her influence doesn’t stop there. As a mother of eight, she was able to send most of her children to college and helps raise one of her six grandchildren.

With meters promoting water conservation, loan payments coming in, and communities rallying behind her, it is safe to say that Doña Luisa’s work will continue to influence generations to come.

Our numbers are based off the following data:

Fill out my online form.

Please note:

Our site is meant to function in the latest versions of the major browsers, both on the desktop and mobile operating systems. Internet Explorer versions 9 and older are not supported by this site. To see this site in its intended state, we recommend choosing another browser (such as Chrome).

The last version of Internet Explorer was version 11. Now Microsoft is pushing 'Edge'. Older versions of IE aren't even supported by Microsoft anymore. This article is a bit dated, but is a quick read and helps to explain why you really should upgrade: Please Upgrade Your Browser. Essentially, dated browsers are a huge risk for the user.

Alternatively, if you don't feel like upgrading your browser, you can also use our full site on your phone.

Why Don't We Fix Our Site for X Browser?

Essentially, Water For People is a non-profit and we would rather spend money on our causes instead of the very significant amount of money that it would cost us to design and maintain a website that works for legacy, unsupported browsers.