Los Amates, El Salvador

The caserÍo of Los Amates was a muddy mess today. The main road through this jumble of ramshackle houses is not paved. Recent rains have turned the road into a muddy slip and slide. And to make matters worse today, it rained again. The people who live here, however, have learned to live with inconveniences like mud and heat and inescapable humidity and muddy shoes and feet. Inconvenience is a way of life here.

Perhaps the greatest inconvenience at Los Amates is the lack of access to reliable sources of water. This morning we walked down to Rio Sonsonate, the river that separates the houses of Los Amates from the cane fields. The river is indeed polluted. Local leaders told us about the health problems and skin rashes that the people constantly battle because of the filthy water. The shallow hand-dug wells are no better than the river.


We met a fourteen year-old girl named Alma at the river. She was one of several young girls doing laundry there. Alma and the other girls in the area spend several hours a day on water related tasks. They have to walk long distances from their homes to the river to fetch water for daily needs, sometimes several times a day. Like other women around the globe who devote untold hours a day doing the same, Alma and her friends suffer from time poverty.

Drilling a water well for the people of Los Amates will do more than provide clean water for the families in the area. The community water well will give all of the families a reliable source of clean water that is closer to them than the river. That means that young girls like Alma will not have to walk as far to fetch water for their families. This will free up time for young girls to go to school and for mothers to spend with their children. And, the clean water should alleviate a number of health issues.

The rain today did not slow down our team. We are determined to provide the gift of clean water for the people of Los Amates. And, the local pastor who prayed for our team this morning is doing a great job of telling the people about Jesus, the Living Water. This week, we are working together to improve the lives of the people who live here. After our team returns home, the pastor will continue his work of telling people how their deepest thirst can only be quenched by the Living Water.

Working Guys
Please pray for Alma and other young ladies like her. Pray that the water we provide will help her out from under the debt of time that is impoverishing her life and keeping her from reaching her highest potential. Today was a hard day of drilling, literally hard as we hammer our way down through lots of rock. But we will work as hard and long as we have to this week to answer the prayers of Alma and others in Los Amates to give them the gift of clean water and to give them back their time.