A dear friend of mine once gave me a life-changing gift: A Drop in the Bucket. It’s a fund raising effort aimed at building wells in El Salvador, so families have clean drinking water.
|Children celebrate the installation of a well in El Salvador. The water on the right
was, until the well installation, the only source of water in town. The clean, fresh water on the
left is from the new well. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Though I currently call La Crosse, Wis. home, the cause is close to my heart. That’s because a few years ago I was able to stand with the families in one village in El Salvador and celebrate with them the construction of a well. I did this through Global Awareness Through Experience.
The women and children gathered around a single spigot, and turned it on for us to see the wonder that is this life-giving gift. Suddenly, I could see water through their eyes.
To that moment, the village had been dry for 40 years. Women would carry water on their heads from a source miles away. And shady companies (I saw this with my own eyes) pump water from filthy rivers nearby and sell it back to the people for $1per oil bucket–more than a day’s wages. This water is polluted with animal and human waste, and is known to sicken children.
|The new well, which provides water to two villages in El Salvador.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Travel to El Salvador shook me to the core. I came home feeling raw, torn open. With my new-found eyes, I struggled to make sense of the waste and affluence in our nation, and the need in others. Yet the beauty of this travel experience is that such struggle indicates what I like to call “a shift in the camera.,” a total paradigm change. And when that happens, anything can happen.
Please consider donating, and earmarking your donation to potable water projects. If you can not donate, please consider taking a full day to approach the water in your life with deep gratitude. Reflect upon the gift that it is and its sheer abundance, whether you are watering your lawn with drinking water, flushing your toilet with it, cooking and cleaning with it, or enjoying a nice, tall glass. Then, send hopes for the same abundance of water to the people who do not have clean, fresh water to drink.
Read more about the GATE cultural immersion experience in El Salvador.