Mercy in Guatemala

We came to the pueblo of Santa Inez as the cloudy skies glowed in the waning light just before twilight. This particular neighborhood is nestled against lush green hills, slightly above the traffic, noise and bustle of the city of Antigua.

When we arrived at the home of our friends, Billy and Mirna, a small group of men, women and children were gathered on the concrete patio. These folks have come for the life-saving gift of clean water via the simple water filters we’ve brought with us. News of these water filters spread quickly after our visit this past summer when we brought 65 filters. Folks who used them told of the money saving benefits (no need to buy bottled water) and the health benefits (eliminates water-borne diseases), and others were anxious to receive this gift.

Folks usually come to presentations on the filters with anticipation, some trepidation and skepticism. We spend a lot of time explaining how the water filter works, how to clean it, and the health benefits of drinking clean water.  As each family comes to receive a filter, they must demonstrate that they can assemble the filter with the bucket and clean the filter. They are nervous, especially the men! But, after a few laughs and some gentle guidance, people relax and are quite proud when they finally finish.  They leave with smiles on their faces and many words of great gratitude to us and to “Dios”,God.

After this gathering, Billy, Mirna, Christopher (Dennis) and I went to a follow-up on a couple of filters we had distributed last summer. By this time, it was dark.  Although there is electricity in Guatemala, it is expensive, sparse and unreliable.  At the first house, the neighbor (la vecina) described the filter as “broken”.  However, some serious (más fuerza, por favor) back flushing of the filter, proved it to be not broken, but merely very dirty.  We had the husband and the wife, flush the filter, and Billy, our translator, instructed them to clean the filter each day.  Clean water is essential in this household as the wife makes tortillas to sell each day, and they have a young son.

In the next house, we found the filter working well and the recipient very happy to be drinking clean water.

We stepped out into the dark alley to the voice of the bread man, “Pan” he cried as he approached us.  He carried a large woven basket with warm, freshly baked bread of all sorts (pan tipico y pan dulce). We bought a bag full of various breads for about $1 to share with our hosts. A delicious treat after a long day

All in all, we distributed 100 water filters in one week. 76 went to teachers and staff at a Spanish language school, and the rest went to others in various pueblos. Many thanks to the For One Another Foundation for their generous funding of this trip, and to Holy Cross Lutheran Church for their support of this mercy work.  

To donate and save lives, please go to generosity will make a difference!!  $60 gives clean water to a family and community!

Our hosts, Nayeli, Billy, Mirna and Jenifer. 

via Always Mercy

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