They Have Water!
The community of El Espino has always had a soft spot in our heart – we love visiting this remote mountain community. With no running water, no electricity, no church, and with only a 4 year old, one-room school house. This coffee farming community of 18 families are hard working people who enjoy the simplicity of life. We have been able to do some improvements at the school and form relationships through water filters, Children’s day events, and conversations with the families. One thing that came out of these times was learning of their desire to have water reach their homes – the source of water was a 5 minute hike up the mountain, which meant for a lot of buckets hauled back to their home each day. The teacher drew us a crayon map of the community to get us started on explaining the water dream and where the houses were placed. For 5 years we’ve had that map in our office, waiting to do something about it.
A few years ago we met some incredible people that were willing to foot the bill to give this community water. After GPS mapping, engineer planning, and lots of time spent waiting to received the plans, and we ran with it. The community worked tirelessly as the road is treacherous and because material couldn’t be delivered at the site, the men would meet the delivery truck at the bottom and carry up the bags of cement either on their shoulder, or with their donkey’s. They dug all the ditches, cleared the land, collected the rock, and put in all the sweat labor – 310 days (among the workers) worked to be exact.. I’m so proud of them! – this built up the unity of the community as they worked together to make this project a success! They have now formed a committee to monitor and care for their new water source.
Last week we went to finish the project – the collection boxes are in, the storage tank complete, and tubes are run to 15 homes that now have water at their house for the first time ever! The other 3 homes live above the tank so they walk down to the tank and use the new wash board to wash their clothes in a sanitary place. There is also a water connection waiting at the future site of the church they are hoping to build (next project!)
The town is SO GRATEFUL. In anticipation of the donor’s arrival, the town had a meal prepared, banners and signs hung, and a plaque prepared. You will not find a sweeter, more humble community. When these community members come to our clinic, they always arrive with bags of their produce to bless the clinic staff with – oranges, banana’s, etc.