Short-term Trips

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Short Term Mission Trips
  • Trips Info
  • Agua Viva
  • Mike Mantel, President & CEO
  • Living Water in Haiti

El Salvador

Paul Darilek moved to El Salvador in 1996 because he felt compelled to live in the poorest place he’d ever seen. He worked in solidarity with victims of the civil war, planting corn, visiting widows, and waiting in line for dirty drinking water. Like most of his neighbors, Paul got sick from the water.

In 1998, Paul signed up for a Living Water shallow well drill training course where he met Harry Westmoreland. In the same year, Hurricane Mitch struck Central America, leaving thousands displaced and without access to safe water. Harry and Paul returned to El Salvador, beginning Living Water’s work there in 1999. In 2007, Paul moved back to the states and Carlos Molina became the field director.

This year, Living Water plans to host over 60 short-term trip teams to El Salvador, with hopes of completing even more new wells, rehabs and inspections in the future.

Region and Purpose

Living Water is currently working in the Acajulta and La Paz region of El Salvador. Each year, the Living Water team hosts many groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and through the grace of the Living Water that is Jesus. Depending on the ground formation, team members will utilize one of three types of drill rigs (a DR100, LS300 or PRD drill rig) with our in-country drillers and work alongside our health and hygiene team to teach proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.

Haiti

Living Water International has been working in Haiti since 2004, through partnerships with both local Haitian organizations and other US-based organizations. After the 2010 earthquake, Living Water saw the increased need for safe, clean water, and community-based programs.

Until 2012, Living Water worked in Leogone to repair damaged pumps and wells. The team’s presence there was especially valuable after the 2010 earthquake, as Leogone was one of the hardest hit areas.

At the start of 2011, Living Water began the Port-au-Prince program, by teaming up with another ministry—Mission of Hope. The program focuses on repairing existing wells.

In Cap Haitian, Brandon and Jessica Stone stepped in during 2011 to take over a program that was managed by partners. They transitioned the work to Haitian leadership in 2013.

All of these programs are undergoing important and exciting changes, focusing more on community relationships and sustainable development.

Region and Purpose

Living Water International is currently working in two regions in Haiti: Cap Haitian and Port-au-Prince. Each year, the Living Water team hosts many groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and the grace of the living water that is Jesus. Team members will use an LS300 drill rig with our in-country drillers and work alongside our hygiene team teaching proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.

Honduras

In 1998 Mike and Georgann Gullikson moved to La Ceiba, Honduras, just before hurricane Mitch devastated the country. They spent the next 9 years doing disaster relief work, when it became clear that providing water wells was the least invasive way to help communities, preventing dependency on outsiders and providing a foundation to rebuild infrastructure.

A local drill team formed from the Gulliksons’ church and the team envisioned a Honduras with safe water. Emilio led mission teams in drilling and was joined by Yadira to teach hygiene techniques. Alfredo, the associate pastor, taught the Bible to local pastors. In 2007, the Gulliksons returned to the States and transitioned leadership to the local team.

This year, Living Water plans to host over 60 drilling and 15 pump repair trips to Honduras, with hopes of completing even more new wells, rehabs and inspections in the future.

Region and Purpose

The Living Water Honduras offices, located in the city of La Ceiba, are an ideal location for the work currently being completed along the North Coast in the Sonaguera Valley. Each year, Living Water hosts groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and through the grace of the living water that is Jesus. Team members will use an LS400 drill rig with our in-country drillers and work alongside our hygiene team to teach proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.

Guatemala

In 1998, Lew and Rita Hough started volunteering as trainers at Living Water’s shallow well drill training camp, training others for Life Water, a partnering organization. By 2000, Life Water had too many volunteers! The Houghs realized they needed to find a way to get trainees into the field to serve. They collaborated with a former trainee working in Guatemala to drill with volunteers in villages along the Pacific coast, using one of the first LS100 drill rigs.

The first trip happened two weeks after 9/11 in a village named Nuevo Venecia. While a little apprehensive about traveling abroad at that time, the team was encouraged as they were greeted at the airport by a group of smiling Guatemalans waving American flags. In 2004, Living Water began to drill with teams independently.

This year Living Water plans to host over 60 short-term teams in Guatemala, with hopes of completing even more new wells, rehabs, and inspections in the future.

Region and Purpose

Living Water Guatemala currently works along the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Each year, Living Water hosts groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and through the grace of the living water that is Jesus. Team members will use an LS300 or a LS400 drill rig with our in-country drillers and work alongside our hygiene team teaching proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.

Rivas, Nicaragua

Richard Bell, a long time Living Water volunteer, had a heart to know and serve the people of Nicaragua. Through his leadership and vision, Living Water began sending drill teams to León, Nicaragua in August 2005. When Jorge Alvarado took over in León our trips began to have a very Nicaraguan flavor—and everyone who went wanted to go back!

At the beginning of 2012, Jorge and his family moved south to Rivas to expand Living Water’s work in Nicaragua. At the same time, Stu Torres, moved from his native El Salvador to serve as director in León. In 2015, Douglas Varela became the director in León.

One of the challenges in many of the countries where Living Water works is broken pumps. In 2008, Dennis and Susan Trumblee began a pump repair program to help fix hand pumps drilled by other entities. In 2011, Nicaraguan Jairo Salazar took over the program, designed to work with communities towards long-term sustainability.

This year, Living Water plans to host 40 drilling trips to Rivas, with hopes of completing even more water projects in the future.

Region and Purpose

Living Water Nicaragua currently works in and around the cities of León, Granada, and Rivas. Each year the Living Water team hosts groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and the grace of the living water that is Jesus. Team members will use an LS400 drill rig with our in-country drillers and work alongside our hygiene team to teach proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.

León, Nicaragua

Richard Bell, a long time Living Water volunteer, had a heart to know and serve the people of Nicaragua. Through his leadership and vision, Living Water began sending drill teams to León, Nicaragua in August 2005. When Jorge Alvarado took over in León our trips began to have a very Nicaraguan flavor—and everyone who went wanted to go back!

At the beginning of 2012, Jorge and his family moved south to Rivas to expand Living Water’s work in Nicaragua. At the same time, Stu Torres, moved from his native El Salvador to serve as director in León. In 2015, Douglas Varela became the director in León.

One of the challenges in many of the countries where Living Water works is broken pumps. In 2008, Dennis and Susan Trumblee began a pump repair program to help fix hand pumps drilled by other entities. In 2011, Nicaraguan Jairo Salazar took over the program, designed to work with communities towards long-term sustainability.

This year, Living Water plans to host 40 drilling trips to León, with hopes of completing even more water projects in the future.

Region and Purpose

Living Water Nicaragua currently works in and around the cities of León, Granada, and Rivas. Each year the Living Water team hosts groups from North America to make generational change through the gift of safe water and the grace of the living water that is Jesus. Team members will use an LS400 drill rig with our in-country drillers and work alongside our hygiene team to teach proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. Our hope is that during the trip you will make meaningful relationships, experience a slower pace of life, and witness the faithfulness of God, returning home transformed.


FAQ



Where are trips offered?

Living Water International has trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. There are currently no other opportunities for short-term trips or overseas travel through Living Water.

How do I join a trip as an individual?

Trips are reserved six months to one year in advance. However, it is quite common for individual spots to open up as trips draw closer (usually about three months out). If you want to join a trip in the current calendar year, view I want to go and apply for a trip date.

How do I reserve a trip for my group?

Trips are reserved six months to one year in advance, so it is best to notify us of your interest as far in advance as possible. If you are a leader looking to reserve a spot for your group, please contact STTBooking@water.cc. After we have confirmed that a trip is reserved for your group, we hold those spots until the trip is 90 days away. At that time, any trip spots for which we do not have registration forms for are opened to the public and our waiting list.

What kind of training do I need?

Living Water does not require any training to go on a trip; our in-field staff are uniquely equipped to train you while you are on the trip. However, training can be an incredible experience and often lends to a more satisfying trip experience. Living Water offers training for drilling, and pump repair; check out the Training Schedule.

Is there an age limit?

The minimum age requirement is 14 by the date the trip leaves. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian (with the exception of youth group trips, which must have at least 2-3 chaperons.) There is no maximum age limit.

Who is on the team?

Drill trips have a maximum of 12 people—up to 8 drillers and up to 4 hygiene team members. Spots on teams fill on a first come, first serve basis by registration form.

Who leads the trips?

In every country, we have excellent staff, employed and trained by Living Water. They are experienced at leading short-term teams and specialize in drilling, Bible storytelling, and health/hygiene education. Our staff will lead the trip; act as translators, train, host and assist you; and be there to experience the trip alongside you.

How long are the trips?

Trips are 6-7 days long, starting on a Saturday or Sunday. We currently do not offer any infield internships or trips longer than one week.

What is the itinerary?

The team will arrive in country on the weekend and may enjoy church or relaxing with the locals. On Monday, work in the community begins. For four days, the team will work on the well or facilitate hygiene training. We attempt to drill a shallow-water well using a mud rotary hydraulic rig or an air drilling rig (depending on the location). The hygiene team provides hygiene education, teaches Bible lessons, and plays with the kids. Usually the team finishes on the fourth day of drilling, and then enjoys the well-dedication ceremony. If everything with the well is finished on Thursday, Friday is a day to rest and relax with options like shopping in an open-air market, a volcano tour, or dinner at the beach.

The objectives of the trip are to drill a shallow-water well, teach hygiene, encourage the villagers, and work with God in a way that is totally different from what you experience in North America. The trip is not only about bringing safe water and the gospel but also forming relationships with people in the village, the field staff, and the team. It is truly a life changing experience.

How is a pump repair trip different than a drilling trip?

Pump Repair (PR) trips are the same length, cost, and have the same preparation timeline as short-term drill trips. The maximum number of people on a PR trip is 4 members. Pump repairs are a strategic way to meet the need for safe water. It seems that everywhere you look in Central America, there are broken wells and hand pumps, with the local people lacking the skills or materials to fix them.

Pump repair teams accompany our in-field staff and learn to assess, repair, and sanitize several non-functioning wells. After Living Water repairs a well, we take responsibility for the well and it goes into our tracking system to address any future repairs. We never want the local people to be forced to return to a former, contaminated water source.

What is the cost and are there refunds?

The cost for all Central America and Haiti trips is $1,950.00 per person. This covers the round trip airfare Living Water will book from your home city to the in-country destination, all meals, lodging, ground transportation, and medical travel insurance. Meals at the airport, souvenirs and recreation day activities are not included. Living Water is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so all payments or donations are tax-deductible. If you must cancel your trip you will be able to redirect your donation or hold it for a future trip within the calendar year and the same country, but we will be unable to provide a refund.

What are the deadlines?

Once you have a trip date confirmed, the coordinator will provide the registration form and next steps. You are not guaranteed a spot on the trip until we receive your registration form. If you do not meet the payment deadlines (and do not communicate with us why they were missed), you forfeit your spot on the trip.

  • 90 days before the trip: $1,000 deposit is due to be able to book a plane ticket and confirm your spot.
  • 30 days before departure: Remaining $950 is due.
  • You may pay when you register online, fundraise through our online site (page created after you register), call your trip coordinator with credit card information, or mail a check. Contact your trip coordinator for a remittance form to include with checks.

Are scholarships offered?

We firmly believe that when God calls you to go on a trip, he will provide. Though Living Water does not offer any scholarships, we are willing to provide materials and guidance to help you fundraise. We have many trip participants each year that are financially supported by their church, place of employment, or family/friends.

How do I fundraise?

After you complete your trip registration form, you will have a fundraising page automatically created for your trip. You can customize this page and share the website link with others to contribute towards your trip. Additionally, fundraising donations can be sent to Living Water by check (your trip coordinator will provide a remittance form) or calling your coordinator with credit card information.

As fundraising requires time, we recommend that you begin spreading awareness and raising funds as soon as you sign up for the trip. You are still held responsible for all payment deadlines, and must use the remittance form for donations by check to ensure that your support is being applied correctly. If you are signing up for a trip that occurs within 90 days, fundraising is not typically a viable option due to the payment deadlines.

Who pays for the well?

When a group reserves a short-term trip to Central America or Haiti, they are given the opportunity to sponsor the well they will drill. This gives that group the opportunity to invest even deeper in the community they will spend their week serving. The sponsorship covers material costs like well casing, drop pipe and the pump, as well as drill rig maintenance, fuel, and materials for the drilling process. If a group is not able to sponsor their well, Living Water will match a well sponsorship donor with their trip. If you are interested in funding a well, please contact LivingWaterTrips@water.cc to inquire on availability.

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