Colonia Cruz de Los Vados Zona 18 is a remote village of 400 people, located in Ciudad, Guatemala. In this area, there are only hand-dug wells. People will collect water to care for their animals sometimes, but they will mostly use the water closer to their homes, which could be from a hand-dug well or surface water.
Some years ago a farm that is near the community made some wells for the community, but the water was not clean. Community members started to have some skin diseases and stomach issues, so we needed to stop using that water. It is a rural community that is located in a very elevated area, far from the center of the city, with a road that is difficult to access and with serious water problems. They have no school or health center, but they do have a Catholic and an Evangelical church.
Your donation of $3,500 will provide a new borehole well with a hand pump, bringing clean, fresh water every day, and also hygiene training to the entire population.
The community has a few hand dug wells but they are all contaminated. It takes time for the wells to re-charge/collect water so only a few days a week would they find water in the wells. This is a very rural community that is located in a very elevated area, far from the center of Guatemala City. They have no school, no health center but there are two churches. The community is mostly older men, women, and children due to the men have gone to other places to find work.
Women and children suffer from waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea, skin rashes, and parasites. Lack of water causes them not to bathe properly or often enough. Handwashing is a luxury due to the lack of water. Kidney issues are common with the women, who do not drink enough to flush out their kidneys. Malnutrition is common as well. Life is difficult for these families.
LIVING WATERS INTERNATIONAL’S PROGRAM
Our program implementation through WASH Program Areas is unique in that it aims to bring lasting physical and spiritual development in communities through a multi-year program focused on specific regions thoughtfully integrating and contextualizing principles of water access, sanitation, hygiene, church mobilization, gospel proclamation, and sustainability.
SPECIFIC COSTS AND FUNDING INFORMATION
Total Project Cost: $5,000
Funding Requested from Ingomar Living Waters: $3,500. The remaining funds will come from LWI’s general giving donations.
WELL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
Living Water International will provide training and backstopping support during the first 6 years until the local water committees and community have gathered enough fees to build a reserve for funding future maintenance. Water users will pay small, monthly water user fees by household and these funds will be collected and managed by the water committee for future repairs and maintenance of the system. The well-caregiver will be equipped to do the ongoing general maintenance.
Living Water employs a pastor within each country’s staff. The LW staff works with and through existing churches to mobilize the community, foster unity and spiritual growth, and empower them to be health advocates within their own communities.
Bible storying training is coordinated within the WPA at several locations and outreach evangelism events such as the Jesus film, family activities with spiritual influence, or rallies to name a few. Bibles are given out to new believers or believers who do not have access to a bible in their own language. Other pastoral training and fellowship activities are held to unite Christians throughout the WPA in sharing the gospel and uplifting believers. When communities grow in [the] knowledge of WASH programs and the Christian faith, it inevitably overflows to neighboring communities, creating a ripple effect for generations to come.
When the community receives their new well, they will have access to safe water 24/7. This will change their health and ability to provide for their families. They will become healthier by allowing them to garden and farm for their food. Hygiene education will teach them how to have healthier hygiene habits [when] they have access to water to bathe and keep items clean. Waterborne illnesses will begin to disappear. Fewer health issues, especially for women, will decrease. Hope will be restored.
The water crisis was an everyday reality for the residents living in the Colonia Cruz de los Vados community. The residents had a well in the community, but it only functioned for a single hour every three days. The system was old, and the pump was often unusable. Not to mention, the water from the well was often shallow and filled with debris and contamination. To compensate, the residents dug their own shallow wells or purchased water from vendors. But buying water was expensive, and the community members could never be sure if the water was safe for drinking. As a result, waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery were common in the community. Skin rashes also became commonplace when the water was used for bathing. When the children were ill, they were unable to attend school. This in turn made them more likely to drop out of school altogether. When the adults had a waterborne disease, they were unable to work or care for their homes and families. The water crisis was not only affecting the health of Colonia Cruz de los Vados community; it was also affecting the socioeconomic well-being of the community.
Misael Adonias Cabrera Anton is a 31-year-old entrepreneur in the community. He shared his personal experience with the water crisis: “Some years ago a farm that is near the community made several wells for the community, but the water was not safe.” He explained that the farmers didn’t have the necessary tools to drill deep enough and seal the boreholes. He went on to say, “Then the community started to get some skin diseases and some stomach problems. So we had to stop using that water, because the wells were not safe.”
|CONSTRUCTION DETAILS||COMMUNITY DETAILS|
|Pump Type:||hand pump||Previous Water Source:||hand-dug well|
|Project Type:||new simple water system||Location:||rural community|
|Depth of Well:||65 m||Total Users:||400|
|Coliform Bacteria:||absent||Main Water Collectors:||women and children|
To help the residents understand how to use their new safe water in order to improve their health, the Living Water team held sanitation and hygiene promotion activities for the community. These interactive training sessions used a variety of hands-on methods to make them interactive and memorable. The team showed the participants how to take care of the pump and properly store the safe water. Additionally, the team used visual aids to explain how germs and diseases are transmitted, as well as the importance of thorough handwashing and proper latrine usage.
At the completion of the project, Living Water staff shared the message of the gospel with the Colonia Cruz de los Vados community through a well-dedication service. With the help of the local church, they shared with the attendees that God, through Jesus, desires to offer his living water to all. The participants then prayed over their new well, both that it would be used to glorify the Lord, and also as a prayer of thanksgiving for your generosity. In addition, the Living Water staff held a showing of the JESUS film, a powerful depiction of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Miseal is confident that the new water source will transform his community from the ground up. He said, “This well will be a blessing because we will have another source in the community. Now, everyone will have the access to the well, with abundance and quality water, safe to drink.”
Safe water truly changes everything!
Ingomar Living Waters, thank you for providing safe water for the Colonia Cruz de los Vados community! Because of your desire to show the love of Jesus through your gift of a well, the residents’ lives have been changed. They won’t have to rely on the unsafe and unreliable water sources that often make them sick. Instead, the new well you gave will sustain their daily needs and their livelihoods, allowing them to move forward in proactive ways that will benefit the community at large. Through your profound generosity, residents will be able to improve their health and move beyond the water crisis that forced them into reactive patterns of living. People outside of the village will hear about this well, and will travel here to get clean water. Over four hundred people will have constant access to safe water via the new well. Additionally, they have been shown the love of Jesus and his gift of living water.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.