Our work in Guatemala first began in 2001 as a partnership between Living Water International and ASOSCAVIVA to bring safe water and the true “living water” – the gospel of Jesus Christ – to thirsty communities. In 2016, ASOSCAVIVA was incorporated as a subsidiary organization of Living Water International to continue the work of providing access to safe water in rural areas and promoting improved hygiene and sanitation education. From the start, we promote the involvement of church leaders and community members to ensure long term sustainability. Living Water-Guatemala is committed to working closely with communities and local governments to promote WASH (Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene) in Guatemala. Living Water believes that there is not just a physical thirst that needs to be focused on within the communities, but a spiritual thirst as well. We encourage churches to fulfill their integral mission in caring for the needs of the community. Working closely with the community, government leaders and local churches allows us to provide communities access to safe water, education on safe hygiene and sanitation practices, and share the gospel by providing water to the families in Jesus’ name.
Living Water-Guatemala seeks to implement an effective and impactful WASH program in the rural communities of the country. During our 2019-2021 program plan, Living Water International-Guatemala will continue to focus our work in the communities of Escuintla, Retalhuleu and Suchitepéquez. Gradually, we will shift our work to include new communities in the departments of Chimaltenango, Jutiapa or Santa Rosa to continue our work providing safe water and the love of Jesus Christ.
SAFE WATER ACCESS
Living Water works directly with the community to provide safe water through different water solutions, such as water wells. Effective community selection is one of the critical first steps for the successful implementation and sustainability of our projects. Community mobilization is a collaborative effort between local community leaders, churches, government entities, and schools to ensure that all stakeholders can contribute to the success and sustainability of the program. The activities that contribute to this result focus on the construction of infrastructure utilizing boreholes with hand pumps and/or possible submergible pumps, depending on the context of the water source and community needs. The implemented water services must be safe, reliable, accessible, affordable, and available to everyone. Volunteers from the Living Water Trips program are invited by the community to assist in the drilling process as well as leading classes on how to better improve hygiene and sanitation practices. The drilling process typically take 4-5 days, in which the Living Water Trips volunteers work closely with our staff and community members all while connecting through Christ’s love. After construction, a water quality test is performed, and the results are shared with community leaders. The testing includes tests for E.coli, PH, Turbidity, TDS, nitrate/nitrites and hardness, plus any other required tests by the government. Water committees are established in every community to help ensure that ongoing services such as maintenance and repair, are available. This is all accomplished in coordination with the local government and partners.
SANITATION AND HYGIENE
As safe water becomes available in the communities, our Living Water staff and Living Water Trips volunteers use participatory activities and tools to promote the practice of improved hygiene and sanitation habits among communities and schools. The training focuses on the practice of handwashing, disease transmission, water transportation and storage, personal and household cleanliness, and solid waste management. In order to reinforce these practices, the project will promote the construction of handwashing stations with water and soap to be available at all times. The sanitation education and promotion activities serve to create a demand for improved sanitation infrastructure in homes and schools.
IN JESUS’ NAME
Working with the local churches allows congregations and Living Water International to not only demonstrate the gospel but provide an opportunity to proclaim it as well. Gospel Proclamation is emphasized with each Living Water project as a way to show the love of God for communities. This activity will be carried out with words from the pastors and leaders from the community. During the hygiene and sanitation training, the facilitators will have the opportunity to share Biblical truths throughout the lessons. Living Water International-Guatemala identifies churches in and out of the project areas to connect with. It is our goal to strengthen church networks and provide opportunities for these churches to champion hygiene and sanitation promotion and the maintenance of safe drinking water in the communities. We engage pastors and church leaders to participate in trainings in the framework of church mobilization and Bible-storying workshops, with focus on 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.