Water is fast becoming the most valuable commodity on the planet. A cool, clean glass of drinking water is something we take for granted. This is not true in many countries around the world, including in our own hemisphere.

For almost 20 years, St. Michael’s and El Porvenir (The Future in Spanish) have partnered with the people of rural Nicaragua to bring clean water to thousands of people. Since the beginning of St. Michael’s involvement with this nonprofit organization in the late 1990s, we have seen El Porvenir projects grow from providing wells to include sanitation projects, laundry facilities, washing stations and smokeless kitchens as well as providing public-school hygiene instruction and working on reforestation projects.  Progress has been made in life expectancy and better school attendance due to children’s general health improvement. Unfortunately, El Porvenir has only reached a fraction of the villages that need these services. 

Our work brigades don’t require technical construction skills, as all work-site supervision is provided by El Porvenir staff. El Porvenir has also provided very safe accommodations and services to their American volunteers, who are of all ages and strength/energy levels.

Our goal in volunteering with El Porvenir is to provide clean-water facilities, but just as important is letting our Central American neighbors know that we care about them. This trip is tentatively planned for January 7-21, 2018, and the cost is approximately $800 plus airfare. If your heart tells you that you would like to help but need more information, please contact one of our most recent volunteers, whose phone numbers and email addresses are in your directory:  Gillian Butler, Bruce Collins, Mary Lou Hennrich, Hjalmer Lofstrom, Dave & Marili Reilly and Dave Still.

A personal experience:

Our first day on the job in 2014, Hjalmer Lofstrom pointed out a three-foot (in diameter) rock by the side of the road. “That’s the village laundry rock. In the next ten days, we will help build a covered cement-block laundry facility with two cement washboard basins and a shower stall for families who have had to openly wash out of a bucket for their entire lives.” The thankful smiles of Nicaraguan families, who basic needs are finally being met, are worth their weight in gold.

 

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