María Eva Carrizo, resident of Tilimuqui village and beneficiary of the Fairtrade-funded village water facility
Before 2008 the 300-strong population of the small village of Tilimuqui did not have access to a consistent supply of fresh running water. They often had to live in what were desperate conditions with summer temperatures reaching 45°C.
But thanks to the money raised through selling La Riojana’s Fairtade wines through The Co-operative supermarket in the UK we were able to dig a 160m well and create a 150,000 litre reservoir from which villagers can use to access regular fresh, running water to their homes.
María Eva knows only too well how difficult not having access to clean drinking and cooking water was.
“Before the water project there were people who didn’t have water in their homes,” she says. “Water was scarce, especially in the summer, because the water used to always decrease or cut off during the day.
However, since the construction of the new water facility, everything has really improved, as we all have access to water year-round.”
She urges consumers to continue to buy Fairtrade wines produced by La Riojana so that local people like herself are able to benefit from further future community projects.
"Each purchase of Fairtrade wine helps us who live in Tilimuqui, because the money received enables La Riojana to carry out community projects, which help everybody,” she says.
Tilimuqui is located about 7 kilometres from the town of Chilecito, where the main La Riojana winery is based, and as its population grows so do the needs of the local community.
“It is a small, quiet village, however the population is now increasing and people are building more houses,” she says.
One area where María Eva hopes Fairtrade money can provide extra support is in providing a better local public transport service.
She explains: “During the school holidays the public transport to and from the village is reduced. This is an aspect that could be improved.”