Salt Lake City’s Wheeler Machinery Co. is partnering with CHOICE Humanitarian to help eradicate extreme poverty in Mexico. Fourteen Wheeler Machinery Co. employees journeyed this spring to the small mountain village of Tixmadeje in Mexico’s Acambay region. Located 9,200 ft high, the village is in a remote location with little access to modern amenities.

Photo courtesy of Wheeler Machinery
While in Tixmadeje, Wheeler employees and villagers worked side-by-side building cisterns for four village families.

While in Tixmadeje, Wheeler employees and villagers worked side-by-side building cisterns for four village families. Cisterns are cylinder-shaped waterproof receptacles for harvesting rain water and protecting it from contamination. Employees and villagers laid the foundations, bent and tied the wire and mixed cement to construct the cisterns.

Currently, there is no running water in Tixmadeje. The local villagers, along with government assistance, are working on a pipeline to pump in water from a reservoir five miles away. While in Mexico, Wheeler employees were able to help lay one mile of the five miles of pipe needed to bring water to the village.

“I feel the water project will make such a huge impact on their lives,” said Susan Anderson of Wheeler Machinery Co.’s parts department. “It will save them so much time giving them time to work on projects to earn money to feed their families. I left part of my heart in that little village.”

Lack of water is undoubtedly the most significant barrier to economic success in the Acambay region. The cisterns will not only provide water for household use but will also allow for increased animal husbandry and livestock cooperatives.

Kathy James, Wheeler’s sales office manager said, “The villagers want a better life for their families and with CHOICE [Humanitarian] this is possible which gives the villagers hope that their dreams and needs can come true.”

Wheeler employee payroll contributions and a two-to-one company match program have raised $108,538 for the program in nine months. When the corporate partnership launched, the goal was to raise $50,000. If the goal was met, Wheeler committed to sending a group of employees on a fully funded humanitarian expedition, including covering each participant’s vacation pay. Wheeler will continue to send employees on a CHOICE Humanitarian expedition every year if the goal of raising $50,000 is reached annually.

“Without the support from our corporate partners, the work of CHOICE Humanitarian wouldn't be possible,” said Leah Barker, CEO of CHOICE. “We are really excited about the impact Wheeler and CHOICE is making together. Thousands of lives are changing for the better.”