Comunidad el Esfuerzo is located in Patulul, Suchitepéquez, in southern Guatemala. 350 people live in the immediate area. Your funding will bring a borehole well and hygiene training to them and to the people in the surrounding area.
There are no clean water sources in this location. Current water sources are hand-dug wells, but these are contaminated and often run dry during the dry season. When that happens, this community collects its water from a river that is 20 minutes away from the community. They must cross a busy road to get to the river and it is dangerous to cross, especially for the younger children. They are busy carrying their water containers and do not always see oncoming traffic. Many have skin rashes due to bathing in the river or lack of bathing. The river is contaminated. There are parasites in the ground near and in the water which cause the children’s bellies to swell as the parasites multiply. Children miss school from waterborne illnesses and women and men struggle as well since
they too become ill from the diseases. Time poverty is a vicious cycle of poverty.
This is a remote community where there is a high number of waterborne illnesses, such as dysentery, cholera, malaria, Typhoid, and parasites along with skin rashes. Mostly women and young girls go in search of water each day. There are a few hand dug wells in the area but they are limited in water supplies. You can gather a couple containers then the well needs to recharge and collect water again. Many hours are spent waiting in line hoping to collect water each day. Others go in search of open sources where water may have collected. During the dry season the must walk great distances to find open sources of contaminated water. Young children have died due to drinking contaminated water. People struggle to complete their daily chores due to dehydration and illnesses. They do not plant gardens, as water is too precious to spare on watering the plants.
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 other donations.
WELL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
Living Water International will provide training and backstopping support during the first six years, until the local water committee 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 user committee, for future repairs and maintenance of the system. The well-caregiver will be assigned and equipped to do the ongoing general care of the project.
Living Water employs a pastor within each country’s staff. Their purpose is to engage with the local churches/pastors/church members, speaking into unity, spiritual growth and how to be health advocates within their 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. [There are other] pastoral trainings or pastoral fellowship activities to unite Christians throughout the WPA in sharing the gospel and uplifting believers.
Access to safe water within the community would be a huge safety improvement! Children attending school, less waterborne illness, and a feeling of hope would be brought to the community.
Women and men could continue to work in the fields instead of missing workdays due to illness. Small businesses could be grown [if they had] better health and time to do so. Their money would not be spent on clinic medications, but instead [be] invested into improving family livelihoods.
The El Esfuerzo community, located in the shadow of Guatemala’s San Pedro volcano, is home to 350 residents. The residents relied on a few hand-dug wells scattered throughout their community as their primary water sources. However, the wells rarely provided enough water for their daily needs. The summer months were especially difficult for residents as they watched their hand-dug wells evaporate in the hot temperatures. When this happened, residents had no choice but to use a nearby river to collect water. Community members tried their best to ration their water usage, which often led to a lack of hygiene practices. What’s more, the community’s open-air wells were exposed to contamination from the elements and often infected residents with bouts of diarrhea and other diseases. Without safe water, proper sanitation practices were impossible, confining residents to a cycle of sickness and need.
Gabina Crisanta Bacham Sabú is a 44-year-old housewife and community leader in El Esfuerzo. She shared her community’s experience: “In our community, we had a lot of problems. We didn’t have safe water, so we went to the river that was contaminated. We had a lot of diseases. A few years ago, we even had skin problems because the unsafe river water irritated our skin.”
Residents of El Esfuerzo set out to find a solution to their problem. First, they attempted to collect rainwater but could only collect scarce amounts. Some residents even saved money to purchase water from roving tanker trucks. Even then, it wasn’t enough. Community leaders like Gabina knew that a safe and abundant water source would transform their community, so they began looking for help.
In this picture, the Living Water construction crews work to install new piping.
|Previous water source:
|new simple water system
|62 m (203.41ft)
|Main water collectors:
|women and children
When the community leaders came across Living Water’s work, they urgently requested a safe water system. The Living Water Guatemala staff was happy to visit the community and determined that their needs were great and that the residents were ready to manage a well long-term. They soon returned to El Esfuerzo with a drill-rig and began construction! With the help of a Living Water Trips team, residents gained access to a new well in the middle of their community with plenty of water for everyone.
The residents dedicate the well to furthering the Kingdom of God.
The Living Water staff led the residents through several sanitation and hygiene lessons so that they can use their new safe water effectively. To best equip community members, Living Water staff and Trip participants led interactive sanitation and hygiene activities via crafts and games. The residents learned how germs are spread and the ways in which proper hygiene can block transmission. Dozens of residents participated in a practice session, where they learned that handwashing was the best protection against diseases like COVID-19. In addition, Living Water staff taught the residents the importance of nutrition.
Your gift not only gives the blessing of safe water, but also allows whole communities to experience the love of Christ. After the project concluded, the Living Water staff, Trippers, and residents celebrated the new well with a dedication ceremony in conjunction with the local church. At this service, a local pastor shared the gospel’s good news, inviting community members to participate in the living water described in John 4:10. He explained that God’s love for his people addresses physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. The Living Water staff distributed New Testament Bibles to the dozens of attendees.
Gabina is grateful for your access to safe and plentiful water. She said, “This well is a blessing! Now, we have access to quality water and won’t need to gather from contaminated rivers. We are thankful to have a water source in the community, near all of our houses.”
Children celebrate World Water Day with a parade!
Ingomar Living Waters, your generosity fundamentally changed the lives of 350 residents in El Esfuerzo. With safe water at their fingertips, residents are able to plan proactively for their future, rather than reacting out of desperation. No longer will children and their mothers make tiresome treks to the river for unsafe water. Your holistic gift is a tangible reminder of God’s provision, exemplifying the message of Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!
All projects are made possible by World Changers.