In October a team of five Agua Pura volunteers returned to Belén Gualcho, the same beautiful, remote part of Honduras we visited last year. We met again with our local partner organization, Proyecto Aldea Gobal. Our goal was sustainability: to revisit communities we had relationships with and create partnerships in new areas that could benefit from our programs. While there, we continued our training programs in water and sanitation, and also addressed other public health areas with the help of new volunteers. Normally we travel with a small group focused on our specific mission of water purification. This time we brought along experts in other areas:
- Therese was a new medical volunteer, traveling to make an impact with Agua Pura. A pediatric nursing instructor from a local college in Portland, Therese joined this trip to assess the area’s health services. In Belen Gualcho, Therese worked with an American nurse living in the area to survey a health centers and community pharmacies. Therese now has a long-term goal: to return to Honduras with her own volunteers to improve health care in the communities we serve, especially for mothers and children. Because we believe in Therese’s goal, Agua Pura will continue to support her in her work.
- We also had a water chemist and a water systems engineer with us this on this trip. Agricultural runoff from corporate farms is a big problem polluting the drinking water of communities downstream. Jim from Seattle helped test local drinking water sources for chemicals and pollutants in the water and trained local volunteers to continue the testing. He also took samples back to his lab for further analysis. Stan helped analyze problems with local community water systems, and worked with other engineers on technical problems with a large new regional water supply program. Both Jim and Stan will continue their projects in the future and Agua Pura will help support them as well.
My main focus this time was again providing intensive training to local community leaders and others in methods of water testing, water purification, the “cycle of contamination,” and the necessity for consistent practices. The local community pharmacy “administradores” are well respected and trained in a variety of skills so it was logical to teach them our methods and provide them with testing supplies. Because of Agua Pura’s trainings, families with concerns about their drinking water can go to them to have their water tested for a small fee. We also gave the administradores water filters and Water Purification Indicators (WAPI’s) that they can provide to their neighbors.
This intensive two-day course ended with the pharmacy administradores going back to their communities with their new knowledge and their supplies, ready to share their new skills with their neighbors. This truly is the most fun and rewarding part of our trip: seeing our students teach their families and neighbors what they had learned through Agua Pura programming.
Each year the numbers of requests for our help grow, and the plans and expectations of our partners increase. Agua Pura Is making a long term commitment to the communities around Belén Gualcho. We will continue to support them and help make their water safe to drink and their families healthy. We appreciate your continued support and encouragement. Can you make a donation to our work? Every dollar goes a long way. Please help us help the people we serve: Clean Water for The People, One Family At A Time.
Would you like to travel with us?
We take great pride in our programs and students, and on every trip we see the positive effect Agua Pura has on the health of the communities we serve. If you are interested in experiencing the life-changing difference your support provides to communities that need it most, spots are available for our 2016 trips. To find out more about volunteer requirements and dates, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org