A college group from Pennsylvania helps an impoverished family by constructing a well in their Bolivian village
By Gabriel Santos, Samaritan’s Purse civil engineer in charge of well construction
Esmeralda Guarachi and her husband, Felipe, live in a small community situated in the Bolivian highlands. They’ve been married for over 15 years and have three children: Giovanna (14), Wilmer (12) and Daniel (2). Esmeralda actively participates in a Samaritan’s Purse health and nutrition program where she learns about water purification, sanitation, hand washing, and spiritual growth.
Before Samaritan’s Purse entered her village, the Guarachis’ water came from an underground spring that fed into a rustic well. The well was not properly built and did not provide quality water. It was not covered or internally lined, so there was a constant influx of reptiles, rodents, and other impurities into the reservoir. This led to the deterioration of their children’s health as they constantly battled acute diarrheal diseases, leading to weight loss and stunted growth.
Motivated by everything they had learned at the workshops, Esmeralda and Felipe decided to request assistance from Samaritan’s Purse to improve their well. We approved the request and started working with them shortly after. The family provided all the local materials and labor while our staff gave some construction materials and technical skill.
A group of college students from Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania came to the community to give the family a hand. The Guarachis received assistance from Amy, Olivia, Sarah and Esteban, who assisted them primarily with the construction of concrete rings used to reinforce the well walls.
The Guarachi family was shocked to hear that these young people would sacrifice their vacations and money to come help them. They simply could not understand why someone would do this. That week they witnessed the love of Christ with more than words; they saw it in action.
“I have already forgotten their names, but I will never forget their kindness,” Esmeralda said.
The Guarachi family is very thankful to God for receiving the opportunity to build a quality well that is lined with reinforced concrete, covered with a concrete top, and operated by a manual pump.
Now there are no more reptiles, rodents, or impurities contaminating the water. As a result, the children are drinking safe and clean water, which is contributing to their overall health and well-being.