Living Water International has been partnering with Asociación Agua Viva in El Salvador since 1999. Since that time, we have focused on forming strong connections with communities, churches and local governments. Our focus is to bring safe water, improved methods of hygiene and sanitation, and share the love Jesus Christ to thirsty to communities. Our work in the WASH (Water Access, Hygiene and Sanitation) sector alongside our commitment of integral mission has allowed us to create a long-term and transformative impact on the regions of Sonsonate, La Paz and Santa Ana.
At Living Water International, we believe that God is calling the Church to respond to the needs of the thirsty. During our 2019-2021 program plan in El Salvador, we will continue to develop WASH operations in Sonsonate, La Paz, and Santa Ana. In this time, we will be actively involved with communities and churches to implement integral mission. Our staff will continue to dedicate their time, energy and talents to demonstrating the gospel of Jesus Christ while serving rural communities that lack access to safe water and improved hygiene practices. We aim to further mobilize communities and strengthen local churches to ensure that access to safe water remains and the people continue to flourish from its benefits.
SAFE WATER ACCESS
When safe water is not reliably available in El Salvador, there is a high risk of diseases from the bacteria in contaminated water. Living Water International is committed to providing water services through different water solutions, such as water wells, that are safe, reliable, accessible, affordable, and available to all community members in the regions where we operate. Our participatory process to determine where the next water solution will be located, involves the communities, churches, and local government from the beginning. It is because of this engagement that we can further ensure the sustainability of the water well. Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) are signed by the community leaders and Living Water International to ensure that all parties are aware of their commitments and responsibilities prior to the well installation and hygiene and sanitation education. Once this process is complete and the community is prepared for the drilling to begin, Living Water Trips volunteers have the opportunity to spend 4-5 days working alongside community members and Living Water staff to construct the water point. This provides the volunteers with the unique experience of seeing the transformational power of safe water in rural communities that lack access to it. Post construction involves the confirmation of safe water through water testing. Water committees are established in every community to help ensure that ongoing services are available. Community members are trained in the management and care of the water well. This is all accomplished in coordination with the local government and partners.
SANITATION AND HYGIENE
To improve physical health, people must practice healthy habits that must be sustained over time. This begins by learning what healthy habits are and by having a supporting environment that will maintain those habits. As communities gain awareness of their safe water and hygiene lessons, they are empowered to develop and carry out their own plans to improve their sanitation facilities. With proper hygiene and sanitation training, community members can be inspired and trained to improve their own access to sanitation in their households and even at community levels, thereby improving their health in often life-saving ways. Living Water International seeks to improve the health of individuals within the communities we serve by providing them with behavior-changing training and encouragement to improve their sanitation conditions.
IN JESUS’ NAME
Living Water International believes that the Church is God’s primary agent of transformation in the world, and a local church is both an agent of and a sign of God’s kingdom within the community. Working through the local churches allows congregations and Living Water to not only demonstrate the gospel but provide the opportunity to proclaim it as well. All of our communities will have the opportunity to hear a gospel message during the water well dedication ceremony. During the week, the hygiene and sanitation team incorporates Biblical truths into their lessons and share Bible stories through the oral storying methodology. We will work with church leaders and members to help them gain an understanding of their biblical responsibility to serve their communities through the integral mission of the Church.
Living Water currently works along the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Team members will use an LS300 or a LS400 drill rig with our in-country drillers and help our hygiene team share proper sanitation techniques and Bible stories. You’ll get to experience the rich Guatemalan culture in Antigua, including a coffee plantation tour and Cerro de la Cruz—a beautiful cross set on a hill.