Team Member Interview: María Soláns
María Soláns: “No matter how hard the work as a volunteer, you end up getting much more than you give”
MedUX Product Manager, María Soláns, has just joined a social project, The Water Van Project, to bring drinking water to Bolivian communities who live the water crisis day after day. Our engineer from Zaragoza, expert in telecommunications project management and travel lover has always felt the call to take part in volunteering activities and contribute to building a better world.
Now María is engaged with this social experience, which has already reached 9 Latin American countries and has raised more than 14 thousand Euro to invest in purchase of filters, to purify the water and fight against the water scarcity in these regions.
Question (Q): How is the current situation of drinking water in these Bolivian communities where you are going to cooperate as a volunteer?
Answer (A): These communities currently obtain water from rain, wells, rivers and so on. The main problem is this water is not safe enough to drink. The problem comes when this water is stored without any kind of treatment and leaves or bugs fall into it. Then the water stagnates, and it becomes harmful to the human organism. Drinking this water means digestive system or skin diseases, for example.
To prevent this situation, community members boil or chlorinate the water. Plus, the difficulty comes with the fact that getting this water is not even close to easy.
Overall, the most affected population are children, who are more difficult to educate in how dangerous it is for them to drink water directly from the well. Drinking this water may cause many digestive system problems due to the parasite intake, leading these children to death.
Q: How did you know about “The Water Van Project” and why you decided to volunteer in this project?
A: I read about it in a newspaper. They were telling the story about four young men from Zaragoza who wanted to do something to help others, so they tried to contribute their bit to get the world to be a better place.
They were shocked when they found that almost 700 million people live without access to drinking water around the world. Just in Latin America, about 60 million people lack drinking water. So, they bought a van and drove from Mexico to Peru, to bring drinking water to more than 10 thousand people.
When I saw they were offering volunteer opportunities in their project, I didn’t think twice, I applied and off I went!
Q: Can you tell us more about the project? How is it going to be carried out?
A: It will take place in a more specific area, we will bring drinking water to Ckochas and Puna regions in Bolivia. Furthermore, we started a crowdfunding to finance the drinking water filters purchase. We will bring and deliver the filters to the families living in these communities, to purify the water.
Q: What will be your tasks as a volunteer in the project?
A: Our main goal is to help communities, to educate them in the responsible use of water and cleanliness, teach them how to install and maintain the filters, and raise awareness over the global water crisis.
I believe it is important to spread awareness on this and other initiatives in this regard, and make people know that it is in our hands to help change this reality.
Q: What is the project’s last update?
A: The Water Van Project has already reached 9 Latin American countries. During this year, some teams in 3 countries (Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia) have been working to bring drinking water to more than 11 thousand people.
Besides, through the crowdfunding campaign, more than 14 thousand Euros have been raised to directly invest in the filters purchase.
Q: Do you feel people awareness of water scarcity problem in your work/personal environment?
A: From my point of view, most of us, we live wrapped up in our daily problems. We have a series of amenities and we can’t imagine other people not having them. Still, we have the feeling it is happening so far away from us that it is not even close to affect us on our daily routine.
Q: Have you ever volunteered in any other projects? If yes, which kind of emotional and personal things have these experiences provided to you?
A: It is my first-time volunteering internationally. However, I have participated in some social activities in Spain. From my perspective, no matter how hard it is the work you do, you end up getting much more than you give.
Q: What do you expect from this experience in Bolivia?
A: I hope to be able to contribute with my bit to build a better world. Personally, I wish to learn and live it to the fullest.
Q: Has MedUX supported and encouraged you to start this volunteer program?
A: Truth said, when I shared the initiative and the crowdfunding campaign with MedUX, the answer of the whole team was amazing. I couldn’t have expected a better reception. So, answering your question, I have a full support of both the company and my colleagues.
From MedUX, we want to express our commitment with this initiative and wish María to enjoy this enriching experience to the fullest.
We hope to hear from your Bolivian adventure at your return!!
If you want to know more about María trip’s, visit our Twitter account, from where we will follow her footsteps.
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