Women Leading the Charge for Water and Sanitation

Dona Norma

As mayor of the district of San Rafael del Norte in Nicaragua, Doña Norma commands respect. Doña Norma stepped in to lead San Rafael del Norte in 1986. She said the municipality needed an administration that would advocate for its people and create a better life for everyone in San Rafael del Norte.

In her community, Doña Norma says it's not unusual for a woman to be in a position of power. "The only thing you need to have is a love for the people and the work," she says. That passion is evident in Doña Norma's voice.

As mayor, Doña Norma's goal is for everyone in her district to have what they need to be safe and move forward in their lives – including water. Since 2011, Water For People has worked with Doña Norma and municipal authorities to bring reliable water and sanitation services to the district's approximately 23,000 people. But just as important as the water and sanitation infrastructure, Doña Norma says she is grateful Water For People helped train communities to maintain their own water systems – making sure they are sustainable for Everyone Forever.

Currently, Doña Norma's priorities for San Rafael del Norte are full water coverage, improved roads, providing electricity, and ensuring every community has a health clinic nearby.

"For now, there is enough satisfaction," Doña Norma says, her face breaking into a smile. "The community loves that they can depend on water. We are very happy with the work that has been done."