For the past five years, Cristian Silva Zuniga has been a member of Team Rubicon (Canada and International), a veteran-led disaster response organization, which has enabled him to assist people on their worst days – locally, nationally and internationally.
On the international front, this past year Cristian travelled with this organization as TRI Lead in a project with US SOUTHCOM, the mission was called Resolute Sentinel and took place in the northern reaches of Guatemala. The goal of the mission was to support the (Guatemala) Ministry of Health and the Guatemala government in providing medical/dental clinics, engineers, and training.
Once home from this mission, Cristian felt there were some gaps that needed additional support – the major gap being access to clean water. Cristian rallied local support from friends, family members, and colleagues across Canada and with their generous support, made his way back to Guatemala on two separate occasions, bringing a combined 400 water filtration kits.
As a result of the support, Cristian and his team were able to provide access to clean water and training on the care of these kits for 400 families for up to three years.
Coming home after the last trip to Guatemala, Cristian set to work with the support of colleagues to establish a not for profit – Aketzali Izamal Access to Clean Water Society – with the purpose to work with communities to ensure access to sustainable clean drinking water in rural and isolated regions of Central America.
The aim is to improve health outcomes, access to education, and empower vulnerable individuals in the communities.