In 2005, Katadyn began working closely with the Mexican government to provide government aid and Katadyn water filters in the municipality of Oxchuc, Chiapas. To date, the company, with the assistance of the Mexican government, has been able to place 50,000 Katadyn Drip Filters with families in some of the poorest regions in Mexico.
“This area is extremely poor and populated by Tzetzal indigenous people that have their own unique beliefs and traditions which make it complicated to access the families directly, even with the help of the government,” Shawn Hostetter, president of Katadyn USA, told SNEWS®.
“Most of these families live in small huts with dirt floors. They still cook their food over open fires in small ceramic ovens. The Drip Filters are the nicest thing most of them own. The Mexican Government is working with our Katadyn distributor in Mexico, Gerardo Mateos, to hand the filters out to families in this region,” said Hostetter.
Health in this region is improving dramatically as families now have safe water to drink, according to Hostetter. There have been large outbreaks of trachoma bacteria (which may lead to blindness) and frequent gastro intestinal illness in this community. As a result of initially providing 2,500 families with Katadyn Drip filters in this region in 2005, Katadyn was able to gain the acceptance of the Tzetzal people. And as a result, the families in the region pressed the local government and the health authorities to continue this important effort. The Mexican health authorities have recently measured a 75 percent decrease in diarrhea and the presence of the trachoma bacteria as a direct result of families using the Katadyn Drip Filters as their daily source of drinking water, according to Hostetter.
“This is a great reminder that some products in our industry improve the lives of many people, and even save lives during disasters and in poor regions like this,” Hostetter told us.
Katadyn is, just this week, delivering additional Katadyn Drip filters to people in the hills of Queretaro -- another state in that region.