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Susan Leslie
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Diego Ramirez is a mason who has worked with Agua Para la Salud in Quiche, Guatemala for 18 years.  Agua Para la Salud is a Guatemalan non-profit organization that builds water distribution systems, bridges, schools, latrines, and handwashing stations throughout Guatemala (focusing on the northwest highlands where the a 30-year Civil War ended about 12 years ago).  Agua Para la Salud is disbanding because its head, Lynn Roberts, from Washington State is retiring.  

However, Diego has started a Guatemalan non-profit to continue the work.  The group is called La Asociacion of the Ixil People in the Quiche Region of Guatemala (La Association for short).  The group is comprised of 50 villages in the Quiche region in the northwest highlands.  The leaders of the 50 villages get together every 6-weeks to discuss their engineering needs, prioritize projects, and discuss possible funding ideas.  La Association and its collaborative nature, communicates with villages when they can expect their projects to be completed and helps villages see the order of construction.  They all assist each other in reaching their goals, thereby preventing any competition or arguments that would have come before La Association's inception. Diego is a hardworking, sincere man with a passion to help the Ixil people receive basic health and sanitation amenities including home water faucets, and latrines and hand washing stations at schools.  He also has training building pedestrian bridges to help people gain access to hospitals and schools during the Guatemalan rainy season when rivers increase their height and often prevent basic travel.

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