In all honesty, I must say, up until the last 10 years or so, before Jerry started traveling to El Salvador, I never really thought much about water. I’ve always had the luxury of having an unending supply of clean, readily available running water for drinking, bathing, doing laundry, etc. Always. Sometimes, before I knew better, I even wasted this precious, precious commodity by letting it run down the drain while I brushed my teeth or by letting the water run while I waited for it to get cold so I could have a cold glass of water to drink.
What is the value YOU, personally, put on water? For the sake of my example, what would you pay to have running water to make your morning coffee, brush your teeth, wash your face, quench your thirst or flush the toilet? Or, how important is it to have water to wash the kids’ dirty clothes or water so you can push a button and wash dishes in the dishwasher? What value would you put on the mornings hot shower? Is water a luxury that we, in this land of plenty, take for granted? What is the value of water?
The reason I am asking, “What value do you put on water?” is because over the weekend Friends From Iowa Foundation received a solicitude requesting money to build concrete pads to hold two 660 gallon water tanks. Colonia La Esmeralda is requesting financial assistance in the amount of $385 for this purpose. Another NGO has offered to purchase the water tanks and provide water for the tanks and the Colonia of La Esmeralda only needs to come up with money to purchase bags of cement, sand, rock etc. Colonia La Esmeralda is an area of Berlin, El Salvador, that is made up of the Las Perlas area and is comprised of about 52 families who make multiple treks daily over rocky terrain to obtain water using a 4 gallon cantaro at a time.
In addition to bringing a supply of clean drinking water to the community, this water project has value for the people on many different levels. Most notably, the community is working together to solve the problem of no drinking water. They have collaborated with several NGO’s to finance this project and to follow it through to completion. They have the knowledge, know how and skills to build the cement pads and a structure built of lamina to protect and secure the tanks; thus the community is providing “sweat equity”.
Friends From Iowa Foundation has given approval to fund this worthwhile project. It will begin immediately. They way I see it…$385 divided by 52 families is a mere $7.40 cost per family. I think having a reliable source of clean, readily available water for each family is worth the $385 cost. I think it has value.