Navigation Map

Dotted Line


Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Local environmentalists and concerned citizens of Puerto Morelos teamed up with ReSource in 1993 to find a way to protect fresh water resources in and around this coastal community. The partnership has resulted in the construction of hundreds of ReSource Composting Toilets and soaring demand for this technology in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Project Nahi Xix in the UNDP Best Practices Database in Spanish; in English

The Horizon Solutions web site includes the Nahi Xix Project as one of their case studies.

A photo of the first Nahi Xix built in Puerto Morelos.
A look inside the first Nahi Xix bathroom.
More Photos.

ReSource partners in the region:
GEMA - Grupo Ecologista del Mayab, A.C.
Luum Kanaab, A.C.
Centro Ecologico Akumal, A.C.

2. ReSource - UNICEF Partnership
Quintana Roo, Mexico

In January 2000, ReSource, UNICEF, and the DIF - a state government health agency - teamed up in Quintana Roo to improve living conditions in low-income households. The project is part of UNICEF's "Vivienda Verde" project. ReSource provided technical assistance and project management to install composting toilets and water storage tanks in participating houses. The project was completed in June 2000. Forty-four families have a new Nahi Xix Composting Toilet in Puerto Morelos. UNICEF helped pay for the materials and labor to build the composting chamber. The beneficiaries paid for the bathroom, with many joining a ReSource-sponsored loan fund to get the capital to finish the construction.

ReSource - UNICEF Project photographs

3. Maruata Project

Indigenous community planning and ecological infrastructure

RILES has worked in Maruata, a village of 1,000 in the Pomaro indigenous community, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, since 2002. There are 4,000 Pomaro Indians living on 400 km2 of communal land. The community is at a transformational stage in its physical development, which profoundly affects not only human health and environmental integrity but also cultural identity, social relations, equity of power relationships, gender relationships, and the nature and scope of economic opportunity. It is at a crossroads in the sense that different development choices lead the village down different paths: some good, some very bad. Choices made now will dictate the paths the community can - and will - take in the future. Influencing those choices is part of our work in Maruata.

RILES has worked with the community to protect and equitably distribute its drinking water. We have built hygienic water wells. We have helped put into operation a locally owned and operated ice making and water bottling facility. We have brought Mayan masons from the Yucatan across the country to teach Pomaro masons how to build composting toilets. We have worked with the tribal government on policies that protect water resources. A team of greywater gardeners (all women) were organized by RILES in 2003. Since then, they have transformed a quarter of the backyards in Maruata into safe and hygienic water-recycling systems, growing fruit trees and medicinal plants with household wash water for irrigation. These women work collectively to manage a nursery, make compost, and they are important advisors to RILES and its work in Maruata.

Maruata Project Goals:

o Protect and improve Pomaro Indian public health and their natural resource base.
o Implement a sustainable and ecological public works program in the Pomaro Indigenous territory.
o Leverage the project to influence other Mexican indigenous communities at a development crossroad.

Institutional project partners: Coordinadora Nacional Plan de Ayala, Regional Michoacán - Autogestión Económica y Social A.C. (CNPA-AESAC)
Pomaro government

4. Ecological Infrastructure in Chemax, Yucatan

This multi-phase, multi-year project is based in a Mayan community, Chemax (population approximately 4,000 in the city center), in the state of Yucatan. RILES was invited to the town by masons living there and with whom we have worked for over 14 years. A fundamental goal of the effort is to provide 100% sustainable sanitation coverage for this town and to contribute to the dialogue and working solutions of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and specifically, the MDGs’ target of halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

This project includes public health research; policy initiatives, for instance, establishing financing mechanisms (bonds, grants, private partnerships, taxes, user fees, etc.) for on-site ecological sanitation systems; small business development; job training; and education. It will link students, public health and medical professionals, government representatives, and community members concerned about local environmental pollution, public health, and long-term solutions to environmental and health degradation. Core components will be to strengthen local institutions that deal with water, sanitation, and municipal planning and develop local and regional capacity to build and maintain technologies related to public infrastructure, such as composting toilets, that do not degrade the environment while at the same time meet community economic and aesthetic criterions.

Institutional project partners: Centro de Salud, Chemax; Zayab Ha, A.C.; Municipal Government of Chemax; Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY); Investigación, Educación Popular Autogestiva, A.C. (IEPAAC)

Chemax Health Study: An introduction (pdf in Spanish)
Health study data and analysis available by contacting RILES.

USA | Mexico | Central America | China

Home | Weekly Musings | Musings Archive | Projects | Technology | Photos | Library | Links | Ways You Can Help | Contact Us

179 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02130 USA
Last updated: 17-May-2007
Document URL:
© 2007 The ReSource Institute for Low Entropy Systems