Meet Maidy Cordova from Guatemala


Maidy Cordova is born in Guatemala on January 11th 1990. She founded Ecosinergia on April 22th 2009. She has worked with young leaders building the first youth water platform throughout the country, Guatemala’s Water and Youth Movement (GWYM), based on the universal right to access safe water in quantity and quality for all. In 2010 she was elected as the National Representative of the GWYM.
On the 2012-2013 period, she acted at the state university as her faculty’s student representative in the Steering Board. She worked with students associations and various organizations to coordinate environmental projects involving young people from all the campus.

What is your motivation in water sector?

In Guatemala, water is one of the fourth vital elements of the mayan worldview which governs life itself in our pachamama.
I focus my energy to contribute on the hydric sphere, because water represents eath’s bloodstream, who feeds all the beings that inhabit it; it is our conscience’s essence, the element that brings us life and allows us to live worthily.
The work on the international youth network is encouraging because it has allowed me to share experiences with leaders from around the world, elaborate declaratory statements, and formulate projects that are simultaneously implemented in our homeland.

What project/campaign/work related to water sector you are leading?

In 2013 acting as a vowel in my faculty, has allowed me to support the diffusion of the state’s university project focused on reducing the water footprint within the central campus, which consists on reusing its wastewater, that it is treated and then used for garden and green area watering on campus. And so by this method, the water footprint is reduced on campus while also diminishing fertilizer consumption, because the treated water already contains several fertilizing compounds.
Next year’s vision is focused on replicating the pilot project in the rural communities, aproaching authorities and community leaders of Guatemala’s Dry Corridor located on the east, central, and pacific coast. The Erratic rainny season has provoqued arid land, and thus sowing and food cropping is almost impossible on such area, because of this, it is considered one of the areas with the highest rates of malnutrition.
The reforesting program allows to regain the fertile land as a first step, and use the treated water for irrigation, afterwards the dry corridor can be enabled to plant fruit trees to achieve food security for the communities and stabilize the sustain of such land, involving people to influence on water thematic and specific water reuse.

What are your success, failures and learning?

We the young people can relay on our universities to elaborate broad scope projects, and we can also participate and get involved on existing projects supporting them in all its phases in order to empower them and make them successful.
With the project’s diffusion we achieved that many students want to get involved, and this produced the vision’s growth, until the pilot phase could be achieved for the dry corridor.
One of the limitations is the financial support, because the simple fact that is to think, plan and carry out a project in the city or rural communities, involve expenses on transportation, alimentation, tools, and support material to make the approach in the rural communities, that must be planned our throughout the year with a certain amount of time, so it can be successfully carried out, and the places to visit we must approach them several times to build a bond and diffuse the projects to develop in their areas.
Among the lessons learned, there is the importance on the institutional support for the high reach projects development and success.
An elemental fact is to learn always from everybody, for which we have to carefully listen unregarding their age, gender and occupation. The youth’s critical thinking can construct a further reach for what it is written on paper, because this will generate future project phases until it spreads at a national level.

What do you think is greatest water related challenge in your region and how can it be addressed?

Body water’s surface contamination represents an enourmous challenge, because of the wastewater without treatment and pesticides discharge into them. Provoquing serious consequences on people’s health and for the ecosystem, producing an increment of groundwater usage and depletion of water reserves. Therefore a portion of the population won’t have access to potable water, and diarrheal diseases will increase significantly putting at risk the public health.
Such issue can be addressed through multidisciplinary, interagency, and intergenerational work, building and strengthening synergies in the youth sector, rural communities, municipalities, government, non-governmental organizations and the professionals involved on such matter; so that alltogether we can achieve our main goal for the wellbeing of our city and communities, creating an efficient water treatment system that can prevent surface contamination because of the discharge to the fresh water bodies; an education program is also a key success factor, focused on the proper use of pesticides.

What message you want to share with other water youth leaders?

Cheer up young people and never give up! We must continue working together and persevere, so we will dropwise fill the glass of sphere’s water synergy and we will see concrete and measurable results.

Our young people generation around the world is being empowered, and we the young people have changed our consciousness sharing a fresh water culture, we all are water and by it we are united.

Together we can build a better and sustainable world!