Israel has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians since October 2023 with bombings, shootings, and deliberate starvation. The UN reported on April 15 that more than 14,500 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel in the last six months. Since October, Israel has killed 203 aid workers and 95 journalists. These are the most killings of aid workers and journalists ever recorded by a single country since global tracking began. Please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), whose humanitarian workers are doing everything they can to save lives despite having 5 of their own killed by the IDF since the genocide started.

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Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López: How Child Inventor in Chiapas, Mexico is Changing Lives


Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López at her elementary school in Chiapas MX

Nine-year-old Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López at her elementary school in Chiapas, MX, on May 3, 2018. (Source)

February 21, 2021 ~ By Shari Rose

Child inventor Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López is changing the lives of people in Chiapas, Mexico, one water heater at a time

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López is an elementary school student from Chiapas, Mexico with more than just an interest in science. Through her scientific inventions, she is actively improving the lives of those in her community and bringing real social change to people who need it most.  

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López’s Early Scientific Inventions  

Xóchitl explains Warm Bath water heater

Xóchitl explains how her Warm Bath water heater invention works in an interview with Las Noticias Televisa Monterrey at her family’s home on March 2, 2018. (Source)

Xóchitl (pronounced soh-chee) Guadalupe Cruz López began her science career at a young age with her parents’ support. She joined Adopt a Talent Program (PAUTA), which provides long-term mentorships and learning opportunities for Mexican students interested in science. Through this STEM-like program, Mexican science professionals connected with Xóchitl and continue to support her scientific projects and endeavors today.

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz lives in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The Mexican state of Chiapas is the poorest of the country’s 32 regions with a poverty rate of more than 75%. It is also home to the largest indigenous populations in Mexico. The majority of people living in the Chiapas region do not have reliable running water, and less than 30% of all Native Mexican children graduate high school.  

Despite the limited resources available to her, 7-year-old Xóchitl built her own science lab in her family’s home for her first project. She successfully extracted and preserved flower aromas, calling this project “Xóchitl’s Essence.” It won first prize at the PAUTA statewide fair, and Xóchitl had the opportunity to meet the founders of PAUTA. 

However, it was Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López’s second science project that propelled her to the international stage.

Xóchitl’s Solar-Powered Water Heater Invention: Warm Bath 

Xóchitl's water heater invention

Xóchitl covers a series of connected water bottles with black paint as she builds her water heater invention in an undated family photo. (Source)

At 8 years old, Xóchitl wanted her next science project to have a positive impact on her community in the Chiapas region. She decided to help the most disadvantaged in her neighborhood have access to warm water without the need to cut down trees and build fires. So, Xóchitl formulated the idea of a solar-powered water heater made of readily available materials from the area.

In an interview with El Universal, Xóchitl explained her hypothesis: “These are low-income people who don’t have the possibility to buy these heaters, so what they do is cut the trees to get firewood, which affects the world through climate change. So, what I did is make this project, this heater, from recycled objects that don’t hurt the environment.” 

In addition to reducing negative effects on the climate, Xóchitl also pointed to the high rate of respiratory illnesses in the Chiapas region as a basis for her project. In an interview with Imagen News, she said: “In San Cristóbal, it’s very cold most of the year so if people shower with cold water they can get sick with respiratory illnesses and constantly have to go to the doctor.”

In 2017, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López constructed a solar-powered water heater made entirely with recycled materials from the area. She calls her invention “Warm Bath,” and it consists of water bottles, a rubber hose, logs, black paint, and cheap plastic materials. It costs only $30 to build. With a little help from her father, she installed the prototype water heater to the roof of her family’s home. 

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López’s water heater atop her home

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López’s water heater invention, Warm Bath, lays atop the roof of her family’s house in Chiapas, Mexico. (Source)

Xóchitl Receives Recognition for Water Heater Invention

Xóchitl’s Warm Bath science project won first prize at PAUTA’s annual state fair. She then advanced to the national fair, where her solar-powered water heater won first prize again. 

In March 2018, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López became the first child to ever receive a prestigious prize from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for her invention. UNAM’s Institute of Nuclear Sciences awarded Xóchitl with the “Reconocimiento ICN a la Mujer” prize, which recognizes Mexican women in science who complete extraordinary work and research.

Xóchitl’s father, Lucio Guadalupe, is very, very proud of his daughter. As an indigenous teacher in the Chiapas region, Guadalupe says he worked to support Xóchitl’s scientific endeavors, despite having limited resources and access. In an interview with Milenio, he said “I’m very proud of my daughter because here in Chiapas it’s very difficult to excel in science … the truth is that we’ve learned a lot with her.”

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López Today

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López speaks about invention

Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López gives a presentation about the pursuit of science and her Warm Bath invention at La Ciudad de Las Ideas conference in Puebla, Mexico on January 11, 2019. (Source)

Now an 11-year-old, Xóchitl is looking to patent her solar-powered Warm Bath invention so that these water heaters can be rolled out to people in Chiapas who need them most. She continues to excel in science and loves the pursuit of knowledge.

The story of Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López demonstrates the importance of providing STEM and similar science programs to young people without many resources. Brilliance isn’t reserved just for those with the means – the pursuit of science should be readily available to all who are interested, regardless of wealth or access. Everyone deserves a chance at changing the world for the better. 

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Shari Rose

Shari Rose

Owner of Blurred Bylines💖💜💙

I created Blurred Bylines in an effort to bring stories from marginalized perspectives into the national conversation. As a former copy editor at the largest newspapers in Arizona and Colorado, I’ve seen first-hand the potential of accurate and accessible information to change minds and affect national policy. 

My stories focus on individuals fighting for justice and their own rights as Americans, survivors of violent crime who rebuilt their lives after tragedy, shifting political trends that seek to strip the LGBTQ+ community and other minority groups of their freedoms, and forgotten figures in U.S. history whose fights for equality persist today.

Through writing these articles, I stumbled upon the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to attract interested audiences to my writing. In addition to the ad-free and paywall-free stories I write at Blurred Bylines, I also perform SEO services for businesses, nonprofits, and fellow freelancers around the country so they can grow their organizations through search engines. 

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