It’s World Water Day and I thought I’d celebrate it with an update on the well drill in Guatemala I went on a few months ago.
I’ve been putting off editing the images partially because it’s hard for me to look at the images. It’s hard to explain. I felt so comfortable and “at home” in Guatemala. Not in the way of wanting to move there; rather in the way that the people I spent the week with were so loving and gracious. In the way that the people I met there brought a smile to my heart and now looking at the photos makes me feel homesick.
And it brings me to tears.
Tears of joy, longing, happiness, and gratitude all at the same time.
I want to share with you a little of what I experienced.
Some background: We were drilling in western highlands, the Northern mountainous region, in the city of Cajola. The closest “major” city was Quetzaltenango. The area is mainly Mayan (specifically, the Mam). The Mayans are named after their language and some of the people didn’t Spanish, only Mam. Sometimes things were translated from Mam to Spanish to English and then back again.
The the village we were working had received two wells almost 6 years ago, and this was the first time that Living Water International was back in the area drilling. This well had been planned since before I started planning for my water walk. These people were in need of clean water. The wells that existed there only reached a small population of that area and many more waited all of these years, patiently.
The wells drilled there aren’t actually the typical hand pump style that one might imagine when doing a project like this. This area actually creates pump houses and then plumbs the water to the individual houses. I mention it not only because it’s pretty cool but because you won’t see photos at the end of this post that show a pump because of it. Just FYI 😉
At some point during the week, everyone on the crew (include the nationals that led our group) got sick. Which is pretty abnormal. And we were a small crew as it was. But it was amazing because the locals stepped up SO MUCH! When our leader, Jaime, ask for a trench there were about 10 people with hoes and shovels digging immediately and it was dug in a few minutes (and one of them was about 100 yards long).
They were so thankful for the chance to have water and desired to help any way they could. I was such an honor to work alongside them for the week. It gave me a new perspective on patience, hard work, and communities working together.
We drilled late into the night the second night as we had some issues with the drill bit and had to take all the lengths of pipe up and then drop them all again (and then take them up again). Let’s just say that it was a very intense 3 hours and I’ve probably never worked that hard in my life.
In the end we put in a well that was 167 feet deep and we had clean water coming out before we left.
There are so many stories and I hope to tell them sometime. Until then, I’ll let some of the photos do the talking.
BUT BEFORE I GET TO THAT…
We have built FOUR wells together and we are only $1650 away from #5! We have an anonymous donor who is going to match any gifts given over the next week to help us get to our goal of $25k!
Would you please consider a gift to help us get there and DONATE TODAY!
And now the photos from our time in Antigua (we same some sights and markets there) and Cajola (where we drilled the well).
April 12th, 2014 Update:
I was sent these photos at the completion of the well pump house. The water is now flowing to the individual houses in the area now. The community is extremely excited!