Karen Espinal is 5 years old. She lives with her brother Jose Luis, 3 ½ years old, her mom Maria and her dad Victorino high in the mountains of Honduras. There are no roads to get to her village; in fact, visitors must walk for two hours on a path up the mountain to get to Las Pozas, where Karen’s family lives.
“Water is our biggest problem in Las Pozas,” says her mom, Maria. “For most of the year, we collect our drinking and cooking water from a place where spring water trickles into a crevice in some rock. We dip the water into buckets. Each family in our village is assigned a six-hour shift every four days, around the clock. We can fill two 5-gallon containers in one shift, enough to last for a day or so. If we have the midnight to 6 a.m. shift, we get up in the middle of the night to change buckets.”
Instead of summer, fall, winter, and spring, Honduras has two seasons: a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. During the dry season, the water trickle dries up and villagers must go further down the mountain to small creeks and water holes in order to get water. On a typical day, Karen’s mom leaves her and her brother at home and, with the family donkey, takes their laundry to a water hole to wash the clothes. She leaves the house at 5:00 in the morning and returns about four hours later. Can you imagine if your mom had to spend all that time and energy just to get your clothes clean? “If we had water, well, things would be different,” Maria points out. “I would be cleaner, for one thing. Our home would be cleaner--everything would be cleaner. We wouldn’t have to be thinking about water all the time and spending much of the day trying to get it.”
Maria worships with a local Brethren in Christ congregation. With the help of MCC, the church built several small dams in creeks around Las Pozas. The dams make water more easily available and last year provided water through part of the dry season. The people of Las Pozas are working on more water projects, including the construction of a storage tank by the spring. The Espinal family agrees that “when we have this water nearby, life is easier.”
Your Penny Power project can make a difference for kids and adults living in the mountains of Honduras. $15 USD / $20 CDN provides galvanized pipe to bring mountain spring water to a village. $60 USD / $80 CDN buys 10 bags of cement to build a small dam.