Rafael Quijada reflects on his research in Honduras with Aquality (formerly known as Water Ecuador).
My name is Rafael Quijada, I’m El Salvadorian and have been living in Honduras for four years. Honduras is an amazing country that is incredibly welcoming to visitors. It has many amazing sights, including the world’s second largest Coral Reef, the stunning Lake Yojoa, and the Ruins of Copan. When someone visits Honduras, they can’t leave without trying a baleada, a sopa de caracol (snail soup), and, of course, a burrita.
I’m in my last year of studying environmental engineering and development at the Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School. Zamorano is a university located in Honduras that receives students from 21 countries throughout Latin America. It’s a university where students work half the day in fields, food processing plants, and research laboratories while the other half of the day they attend class. Zamorano has given me the opportunity to get to know many different cultures and learn a lot more about the diversity of food, dance, and other traditions that exist in Latin America.
My teacher Erika Tenorio and I were introduced to Water Ecuador by a former student from my university. When we got in touch and decided to initiate a research project in Honduras; We were thrilled by the idea of contributing to the information that exists on bottled water consumption. The study involved eight brands of bottled water in the central-eastern part of the country, and we determined their bacteriological quality. The main challenge was finding the availability of the bottling plants to be part of the study, but I was excited to learn more about those companies that supply water to many communities.
Honduras is a country with many challenges in the areas of water resources, and even more with new scenarios of climate change. It is necessary to keep working to educate the population about the importance of protecting the environment and specifically the natural sources of the water supply. I appreciate this opportunity and the help of the Water Ecuador team. I’ve learned a lot in this research process and am pleased that there is now a precedent about the quality of bottled water that we consume in Honduras.