The Modern Bathrooms are designed to replace the open pit latrines, which are a major source of intestinal parasites in rural communities. They consist of a flush toilet, sink, shower, and a septic tank. The advantage of this over the open pit latrine is largely driven by the septic tank, which not only eliminates odors but also prevents interaction of the wastewater with the surrounding soil. Thus, the combination of clean drinking from a deep community well and the modern bathroom with enclosed septic should be a good recipe for improved health and hygiene for the families.
The good news is that Espabel has already seen improvements in health and hygiene. The occurrence of pathogenic intestinal parasites was reduced from 40% in 2021 to only 6% in 2022. Thus, we have reason to believe that the newly built bathrooms this year will help the families, as well. But our hope is that the Modern Bathroom not only improves the quality of life for the family through improved health and hygiene, but that the bathroom also serves a memory of the week that a group of farm-boys from rural Iowa came down to Nicaragua share a few meals, share in the work, and spread God’s joy.