Agua Viva arrived in Flores to find our water purification system fully operative and our new operating partners doing fantastic. This was especially satisfying to our team considering how this all came about.
You see, this was NOT the first home for this system. Not everything goes exactly according to plan.
In 2013, Agua Viva installed this Standard Board purification system in a community called Gompuene, Ecuador. The system served a small community of about 800 people where a landslide at wiped out their only source of water. However, about one week after the system was installed, there was a large up-rising of the surrounding communities. Why does Gompuene get a water purification system and we DON’T??? How can you take OUR water and sell it back to us??? Days later, the system was taken out and abandoned at the home of Maritza Yanez. This was a huge surprise to us! Especially after we had negotiated and signed a covenant with the communities and especially after having a huge party celebrating their brand new system. But, none the less, after threats and complaints, the system was removed. One might ask, “Why would God do this?”.
Then, the rest of the story began to unfold.
Agua Viva immediately started planning an emergency trip. A team of Agua Viva volunteers and Maritza Yanez, went to the communities and began a period of negotiations and water diplomacy. After a few weeks, it was decided. Agua Viva will be permitted to return and install the Gompuene System…. in Flores. There (in Flores) the water system will be installed in a school of 500 children in a centralized point serving 2,800 people in the middle of all of the communities… on neutral ground. Agua Viva returned six months later and installed the “orphaned system” in Flores, where it resides today.
Now the system is serving a much large community and in a “child centered” place providing much greater benefit. And, several of the surrounding communities have apologized and expressed their gratitude that Agua Viva would patiently “stay the course” for the benefit of the children, the communities, and all of the people of Chimborazo… the poorest state in Ecuador.
And, that is the whole story!