Jackie Powell from Agua Para La Salud and I set out with some technicians to tour the projects of San Isidro, Quirragua, and El Carmen. (Quirragua is the spring site that provides the water for all three communities.) After a long morning of driving and horseback riding, we stopped at a school in San Isidro and had a discussion and then lunch with some of the committee members and residents of San Isidro.
It was very apparent that a lot of work went into the project and it really seemed to bring the community closer together. There were stories of children digging in the trenches because their parents were not able to. This community wanted water very badly and has definitely earned it and appreciates it now that they have it.
Maria Lourdes Juarez – Teacher
The following is a loosely translated account of Maria’s answer to a question posed to her:
Q: Are there any special experiences you would like to share about the project?
A: Well the first thing is… the amount of hard work it took. If someone just does it for you, you don’t realize how much energy it takes, how much it costs you, and how much you have to sacrifice for it. And I really respect everyone that worked so hard on this project because I know how much it cost them. For example, one of my children said, “Mom, I am going to go dig in the trench.” And so he went and dug with everyone else and when he came back he said, “Mom, that was really hard work!”
And women went to help too and lots of children because they all wanted the water. They really value water because when somebody just gives you something, you don´t value it anymore. So this is my experience of just how everyone was involved.
I already said some of the kids participated, but not all of them. But the best part was the health workshops that APLV did. Sometimes in the school, we provide health classes, but it is better when outsiders come and emphasize the neccessity of it because the importance is coming from another person. So Liliam and Kelia came and gave classes and one was able to talk to them directly about personal health and cleanliness. So they came to help us.
They also came and gave educational talks about reforestation, which helped the kids put theory into practice. But it was so important to not only teach theory but to also give someone the opportunity to practice. APLV helped our community as well as our school.