In Roatan, young families and families who come from the mainland looking for jobs can often only afford to build small homes in unpopulated areas. This means building with whatever materials they can find, on mountainous terrain with little to no infrastructure.
In 2017, we visited one of these new settlements, known in Honduras as colonias. At the time, there were around 250 families living there. There was no electricity, and the only water sources were a stream that flowed during the rainy season – only 5 months of the year – and a couple of holes dug just a few feet into the ground.
This not only made it difficult for families to access water for bathing, laundry, and daily living, but also caused a risk of disease from the impure water.