Global Service Trip: Guadalajara, Mexico 2018

Last month, The WASH Foundation’s Manager of WASH Programs, Steffani Fields, took two lucky Concord Hospitality Housekeeping Managers, Tina and Kayla, to visit our WASH Educations Programs in Guadalajara, Mexico.  These ongoing programs, operated in partnership with Children International, provide regular handwashing education and access to handwashing supplies to over 10,000 families each month.

The purpose of the trip was to recognize the important role that hotel housekeeping staff play in improving the health of vulnerable children and their families all around the world. The soap that is used in our ongoing WASH Education Programs is recycled from partnering hotels globally, and the journey of the soap bars begins when housekeepers collect the discarded hotel room soaps and send them to Clean the World for recycling.  Our efforts to improve health and transform lives would not be possible without the tens of thousands of hotel housekeepers that help make a difference every day.

On this trip, the team visited our ongoing programs at Children International community centers that are strategically placed in the underserved communities of Santa Paula and Chulavista. Each center is fully-staffed by groups of caring educators and professionals who work to educate and empower impoverished youth through numerous programs and activities. The centers provide access to medical care, dental treatment, nutritional education, jobs skills training, and much more.  Our WASH Education programs are conducted at these centers by medical staff and community volunteers each month, working to instill proper handwashing and personal hygiene practices into the regular routines and daily lives of program participants.  Hygiene-related illnesses are among the leading causes of death in these communities, and our programs work to stop the spread of the life-threatening illnesses and improve the quality of life for families throughout the communities.

During the site visits, the Clean the World team participated in hygiene education activities that demonstrated the transmission routes of germs and the important roles that soap and clean water play in maintaining good health. All activities were based on play and included costumes, skits, toys and games in order to promote a clear understanding through active participation. The experience provided the Concord Hospitality Managers with a great understanding of the amazing impact their soap collection efforts have on vulnerable families around the world.

“After spending three complete days traveling through the beautiful Guadalajara region and sharing the experience and impact of Children International and Clean the World programs, I can confidently say that Tina and Kayla left with not only joy in their hearts, but the ability to explain the amazing impact that the Clean the World and Children International partnership has on the lives and health of children and their families throughout the world.” – Steffani.

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