Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 24, 2011

Rejoicing in El Salvador

La Balastrera and San Lucas, El Salvador

Yesterday afternoon we went to an area called La Balastrera to begin the process of repairing their water well. The people have patiently waited for fifteen days for their well to be repaired. Some men and children from the community met us at the site and watched us work under the heat of the mid-afternoon sun. Once we determined the problem we assured them that we would return the following day with the proper parts to complete the repairs. Before we left, I spoke with one man who was seated in a shady spot across the road from the well. He told me that there is an elderly woman in the community who comes to the well every morning at 5:00 AM to fetch water. He said that on the day the well stopped working the woman wept. His words reminded me of how important these water wells are to the people who live in these small villages and communities. Nobody here is asking for indoor plumbing, just access to clean water. And when that water is no longer available it has a huge impact on the people.

This morning we completed repairs on the water well at La Balastrera. It was a community event. Moms and kids showed up. One man brought a couple of liters of Pepsi for the team. Bystanders watched as we replaced the pump, lowered it into the ground, and then reassembled the pump mechanism and handle. When we finished, one of the men started pumping the handle and within seconds clean water began to flow again. He “whooped and hollered” in delight and, along with the others present, expressed his gratitude. This well will again provide clean drinking and cooking water for the people of La Balastrera. Over the years I have had to call a plumber on a few occasions but I have never “whooped and hollered” in delight when he completed his repairs. However, I suppose that if I had to live without convenient access to water for two weeks, then I too might whoop and holler over a simple repair. All of the rejoicing at La Balastrera reminded me of how important these water wells are to the people who depend on them.

The people of San Lucas, El Salvador.

This afternoon we returned to San Lucas to dedicate their new water well. This too was a community event. Norma, one of the Agua Viva El Salvador staffers, talked to the crowd about how to care for their new well and reminded them of what she had taught them in the hygiene classes. Jim Coleman and I shared a brief word with the people and then folks from the crowd came forward to express their gratitude. One woman said that they have been praying and longing for this day for quite some time. She thanked us on behalf of the entire community. We concluded the celebration by hanging a piñata from a big tree and inviting the kids to break it open — which they did in short order. We had fun watching the kids have fun. Today, the people of San Lucas rejoiced and thanked God for their new water well. I will miss the people of San Lucas and remember their joy.


Responses

  1. What a joy it is to read of God’s provision and love to the El Salvadorans through our team and Living Water International. We lift you up in prayer daily.


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