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El Rodeo Community, Nicaragua

The El Rodeo community in northwestern Nicaragua is home to 111 residents, most of whom make their living from farming. The tight-knit community relied on a single hand pump to supply enough water for their daily needs. Consequently, when the hand pump broke after years of continuous use, the residents were left entirely waterless. The lack of water disrupted the residents’ lives. Now, they had to travel more than four kilometers to reach an adjacent community, requesting that their neighbors share their water. With such little water to go around, tensions ran high between the two communities.

Not only was the trek to water physically exhausting but residents also bore an emotional burden. Each day, they worried about where their next drink would come from and whether it would be safe to drink. With limited water availability, they had no choice but to ration what little water they could collect. They often faced the difficult decision of prioritizing eating and drinking over bathing. No one should have to make such sacrifices.

Enrique López Rosas is a 65-year-old local farmer. He and his neighbors were tired of the arduous work of collecting water from far away places.

He said, “For a long time our well did not work The pump that we had was damaged and we couldn’t fix it because it was expensive, and we have few economic resources. Without the well, we had to walk four kilometers to go to a nearby well and ask for water to drink. One day, my son and I had an accident while collecting water. We fell from our horse and I fractured my arm.”

Soon, community leaders learned about our team’s work in neighboring communities and requested an initial evaluation. Team representatives visited El Rodeo and were greeted by an eager and unified community. It was determined that the existing well could be rehabilitated!

The team returned to the community to get the existing borehole up and running. They flushed out the borehole to remove any loose sedimentary rock, cased it with PVC, formed a sanitary gravel pack, and treated the water. Once they tested the water to ensure it was safe to consume, they were able to mount a new hand pump and handle, completing the rehabilitation! Because of your gift, the residents once again had safe water.

The community learned how to establish sustainability practices to help ensure a future of safe water access. The residents were guided in creating a water committee to oversee the care and maintenance of the well.

In order to help the community members understand how to use the safe water you gave them as a means of improving their health, the community participated in hygiene and sanitation promotion activities. These interactive lessons taught the students effective handwashing, how to prevent the spread of disease, and how to properly store water. In addition, the community discussed proper menstrual hygiene practices. Several mothers pointed out the importance of discussing this topic with their daughters and overcoming the stigma surrounding women’s health.

At the completion of the well, the team held a well dedication service.

Enrique was overjoyed that he and his neighbors can once again access convenient and safe water in the middle of their community. He said, “Thanks to God’s provision and Living Water, the situation in our community will change. Now, we have a new pump with quality water and have learned better health habits.”
Exact Coordinates: Latitude: 13.1441 | Longitude: -86.7891
Previous Water:Hand pump
Source/Location:Rural Community
Total Users:111
Main Water Collectors:Entire community
Pump Type:Hand pump
Depth of Well:68 m
Coliform Bacteria:Absent
The community’s hand pump broke, leaving them without a source of safe water.
Installing new piping to seal the well from contaminants.
A resident pumps water from the new well!
Residents pose after the well dedication ceremony.
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