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Puente Viejo Community, El Rosario, La Paz, El Salvador

The resilient community members of Puente Viejo, El Salvador, faced numerous challenges after their homes were destroyed in a devastating natural disaster years ago. Despite rebuilding their lives, the community struggled with legal disputes over land ownership and the pressing issue of access to safe water. Relying on unreliable sources like a hand-dug well, three springs, and a nearby river, the 35 families of Puente Viejo were vulnerable to waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and respiratory infections. The daily struggle to collect water and the health repercussions of contaminated sources had a profound impact on the community, hindering children from attending school and adults from realizing their full potential.

The community leaders engaged in numerous discussions regarding the situation, yet they continually faced the stark reality that they lacked the necessary resources to initiate a well project independently. Recognizing the urgent need for assistance, they proactively reached out for support. Subsequently, the community leaders made direct contact with our team, seeking help in the installation of a safe water well.
Upon arrival in Puente Viejo, the field staff received a warm welcome from the residents. Setting up their equipment swiftly, they embarked on the challenging task of drilling. With unwavering determination, they successfully reached a depth of 72 meters, casing the borehole with PVC, installing a screen and gravel pack, and capping it with an Afridev hand pump. The sight of safe water gushing from the new hand pump brought joy and gratitude to the community members. In preparation for the well’s maintenance, a dedicated four-person water committee was formed by the community leaders.

Additionally, the team provided comprehensive hygiene and sanitation training to the residents through engaging and interactive sessions. Equipped with practical knowledge on good hygiene practices, the participants were empowered to enhance personal and community health. A total of 205 community members benefitted from the sessions, learning about the unseen threats of germs and diseases and mastering proper handwashing techniques. They were encouraged to create and utilize “tippy taps” for efficient handwashing, ensuring access to clean hands for all. Utilizing visual aids, like a specialized doll, the team illustrated the effects of poor hygiene on health, prompting the participants to evaluate their habits. A community mapping exercise encouraged residents to identify areas for positive changes in health and hygiene practices. The final lessons included guidance on pump maintenance and strategies to keep collected water free from contaminants.

This spring has contaminated water that is not safe to drink, but the community had no other options.
Drilling a borehole is a messy and arduous task. Two Trips team members persevere through the mud to help complete the well.


Exact Coordinates: Latitude: 13.515617
Longitude: -88.988700
Previous Water:Hand Pump
Total Users:205


Pump Type:Hand Pump
Depth of Well:72 m


“The water well is a good donation for us. [It will bring] good water for the people of the community. Healthy water will help a lot [of] people. Our spring was not good. [During] the rainy season, the spring always got dirty, and sometimes our children got sick.”
—39-yearold housewife, Cecilia Carrillo

Cecilia Carrillo (left) receives the well from Norma (right), one of the team members
Santiago happily pumps safe water from the new well.
During a hygiene training session, the children learn how to brush their teeth.
The water committee for this community is committed to working hard to care for the new well.
This little girl uses the tippy tap to wash her hands before eating lunch with the team.
The well drilling team; their bright smiles reflect the joy they feel after completing this safe water well.

Our partnership with Hart Elementary helped contribute the financial support needed to build the well and educate the community on water hygiene best practices. Thank you for your support!


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