The community we visited today was starkly different from the two earlier in the week. Alotenango is located in a more densely populated, urban area. This water store had only been in operation for 6 months and was inside the church.
This community’s water source was contaminated with sulfur from the eruption of the Fuego volcano in June 2018. Clean water was available to them, but way too expensive to be feasible. The government began trucking in “clean” water that caused the people to start developing lesions on their skin. When the water was tested, it had traces of diesel in it. The community was very wary of any people claiming to help with water, and justifiably so.
Once this community had access to clean water, they started donating water to the refugee camp a short drive away. This meant that members of the community had to pay a slightly higher price for their clean water in order to offset the costs of the donation. One of the members of the congregation takes one day off a week from selling coconuts and drives jugs of water to the refugee camp and other families in need.
We loaded up this man’s truck with jugs from the water store in the church and followed him down to the refugee camp to help unload. We toured the temporary housing built by the Red Cross and listened to people’s stories. These refugees were displaced by the volcanic eruption and were struggling to get back on their feet. Their gratitude for the donation of the clean water was overwhelming!
Today’s theme of service had a profound impact on me. These people were willing to sacrifice so much to give others the gift of clean water. This community was a perfect example of what we strive to do in spreading #brilliantconfidence.