Blog Four; Great Success

Today we completed follow-up trips for all of our Agua Viva Water Sites in central Ecuador. Site after site, we heard and observed first-hand, the same thing from our friends, “The water system is working great. Thank you so much”. Without exception, all our sites were 100% operative, clean, and cranking out water.

Our proudest moment was when two our school projects, Pomachaca and Flores, both with about 500 students, exclaimed that absenteeism had dropped to a new amazing low level, beyond what either of the principals ever thought possible.
Every site asked us to come back more often; not for repairs, but to celebrate a life changing event: improved health, economic gain, new hope, and increased motivation.

That certainly makes it all worth it. It is a lot of work to make it happen on the United States side and it takes a lot of volunteers, but, the payback is enormous. God never said, “It will be easy or comfortable”.
Speaking for our entire team, we wish we could do more installations. We just aren’t doing enough to help our Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus.

Blog Three; Atahualpa

Today, we had a spectacular day! Our team visited a remote village called Atahualpa, Guamote, Ecuador, where a rather large school is nestled in the mountains at 12,500 Feet Elevation.
The children welcomed us like royalty and are hearts were touched at how accepting they were of this team of complete strangers. It is amazing how happy there are, living with so few possessions.


After a few hours of negotiations, and trust building, the community leaders signed a covenant with Agua Viva and we promised to return to provide a complete water purification system. Our team is feeling very blessed today and we all took in the beauty of this place knowing that we had all somehow grown closer to God.

Our new friends were equally impressed that two of our team members were Quechue; this always opens a few doors.

Our last treat of the day, was a grand tour of their husbandry operation where they raise conejos (rabbits) and cuy (guinea pigs). This is big business for these people and quite the delicacy. I made the big mistake of asking, “Is it a boy or girl!!”.

Blog Two; Into the Amazon

About an hour drive North of a village called Puyo, Ecuador, and in the Amazon rain forest, there is the most surprising place; A university. This is a special university called Universidad Estatal Amazonica. There are 5,000 students. The tuition is “free”. The students are all Quechue indigenous people. These people are drinking water right out of the river and they have invited Agua Viva to install a new purification and ozonation system to serve the students at this campus.

The purpose of this university is to research and invent ways to use the natural resources of the Amazon rain forest and to learn new ways to preserve its splendor. Dr. Edison Samaniego, PhD., the Dean of the university wants Agua Viva to teach the Quechue students “how to install water purification systems” in other Quechue communities. Our team had a great discussion with the Dean. Dale Bain explained how our purification system worked and Elena Fernandez explained our health and hygiene program. They are VERY interested.


We all stared in amazement at the beauty of this place. Flowers everywhere… Birds… Fish…. Ants. It was incredible. Our new friends were very pleased that we had a full-blooded Quechue team member and they were ready to sign a covenant on-the-spot. Unfortunately, they must get in line. Other sites must be installed before we can organize another team to go to Ecuador. But, we plan to return to this place.. Ojala!

Blog One; Jipongato 2017

Our Agua Team has arrived in Ecuador for site investigations and followup visits. Agua Viva now has five full installations in Ecuador and we have made many friends! What a joy to bring pure clean drinking water to these beautiful people and their communities.

Our first folllowup trip was to Jipongato which is located high in the Cloud Forests. We stopped along the way to enjoy the mountaneous beauty and to take our first team photo.

When we arrived at the site, we were so pleased to find the water system (installed in 2014, fully operative and clean as a whistle. Speaking of whistles, Dale Bain had the great idea of passing out whistles to the children. Wow, was that ever fun.

Back on track we soon met up with Moises who hosted us 2-1/2 years ago during the installation. He is the chief operator. The community is now building a new much larger church and Luiz is the new Pastor of the church. It is great to see them growing and so happy. We had a great time.

We presented several gifts to Moises and Luiz, and in return, they took us to the most beautiful place in Ecuador: Los Cascades (waterfalls) high up in the Cloud Forest. It was an 800 meter climb. Elena Fernandez joined us on the trip up the mountain.

Our Method

Agua Viva International (AVI) approaches The Crisis by providing health and hygiene education and curriculum typically to the women of the community, installing sustainable water purification systems, and delivering purified water to communities of need. Therein sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Agua Viva International creates opportunities for partnering with local people to be a part this cause and witness the need and solution first hand.

The water purification system is provided by Living Waters for the World (LWW, LivingWatersfortheWorld.org) . It is a system that is tested in the field with over 1000 installations around the world. There is a network of installations and support personnel to support the installations.

The LWW system can provide clean water to a community of up to 3000 people for less than $10 per person.

Houduras 2016; Blog Three

Yesterday it rained. It really rained… like hard. For about two hours. Holy cow! The kids sure had fun playing in the rain. I guess, I used to be a kid, too.

But, today is Thursday. A very big day and the weather is beautiful.img_08093

Our Water Install Team produced our first five bottles of pure clean ozonated water. The new water supply is much nicer coming directly from the well. Our team is very confident that our new friends will be able to produce water for a long time coming from this source. All of our new operators are fully trained and Daryl Taylor (lead installer) says they are very happy and motivated.

Our Education Team completed our last day at the school nearby. The principal of the school invited us to return and said they were very happy to have our Agua Viva Educators participate in their classroom educating the young children about health and hygiene.

The Dental Team completed the children yesterday and, so, invited local adults to the clinic. Many adults came were very pleased to receive a checkup. Many procedures were performed… extractions, fillings, cleaning, fluoridations, and more.

img_07613Nancy Allen, Les Briner, Jim Allen, Victor Galo, and Pastor Jamilette drove to El Obraje, Honduras, to do a site investigation. This site does NOT have a water purification system. They have 270 members in their local church and over 500 children in the local school. Our team met with Pastor Alejandro for about an hour and then climbed about three kilometers up the mountain to the water source for the community. There in the “rain forest”, Agua Viva was able to prepare a water sample to be tested in the United States. If the water sample proves favorable, Agua Viva hopes to return to this beautiful country to provide yet another purification system.

Tomorrow is the celebration. Pastor Jamilette purchased 15 chickens, 20 pounds of carrots, 100 packages of Roman Noodles, 5 pounds of onions, and six bottles of ketchup. They are making “Chop Suey” for the celebration. What is the ketchup for????? Kelly Briner, Andrea Sester, and Ana Sanders will be assisting the chefs. With a little luck, our team will be climbing a local mountain tomorrow.

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Houduras 2016- Blog Two

Houduras 2016- Blog Two
Monday is our first day on the job.  After a brief orientation, each of the teams started began their work.  Before noon, the new tanks were on the roof and the board for the water system was bolted to the water room wall.  The educators and dentists went to the elementary school nearby (K-1 to K-6) and met with the principal.
Then the power went out!  Seriously?img_06651
A local merchant agreed to loan us a generator for the week to get us through the week, but before we returned to the site, the power was back on.
So, everything is great.  Everyone is well.  The food is great.  A local chef with the Danli Iglesia Metodista Unida is cooking for us.  Great progress has been made.
The dentist has seen several children and we have fluoridated all fo the children in the school.  There is pipe everywhere and the all of the educators are serious about learning Health and Hygiene.
God is good.
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Honduras 2016

img_05991Houduras 2016
The Agua Viva Team arrived in Quisgualagua, Hoduras, today, Sunday, just in time for church. God was with us and it was such a pleasure to meet our new friends. It was also troubling to see the extreme poverty in the area and I think we were all wondering what God has in store for us this week.

The Water Room is ready. It was painted a pretty blue. The bottling table was completely installed with bottle washer, three floor drains, lights, tanks, bottles, everything. What a surprise and what a blessing. Victor Galo has worked very hard with Pastor Jamileth to get things ready to go!
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Volunteer Steve Wagner immediately started assembling the Dental Chair (donated by Church of the Resurrection). Our new dentist, Dr. Isreal Mejia, is ready to go with his own personal assistants Volunteer Andrea Sester and Guatemala Volunteer Ana Van Seumeren. Dr. Mejia is meeting with the local elementary school in the morning to begin fluoridating the children’s little teeth.img_06001

All our 16 suitcases are safe at the church and we are ready for an early start tomorrow.
Our two Translators, Paul and Melissa, are doing a great job. Mario Mejia, from Guatemala, is also here and it is a great comfort to us all to see our good friend again.

2016 Year in Review

Writing this post it is hard not to get emotional! God has done so much through this organization, touched so many lives, decreased disease and malnutrition risks for so many children as well as brought us into new uncharted territories! We could never have dreamed 6 years ago that installing one little water purification system at an orphanage in Guatemala would have birthed such an impact just 6 years later.  Agua Viva is reaching more and more poor communities and our capability is expanding rapidly. Our volunteers just got back from Ecuador on September 23 and are now packing for our next trip to Honduras on October 22nd. It is amazing that our Volunteers are able to serve so many people in so many different countries.  “Clean drinking water” truly is a universal necessity! Below is a quick recap of all we have accomplished in 2016.

Guatemala
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This year, 10 Agua Viva Volunteers provided our first full installation in an orphanage in Huehuetenago, Guatemala. One hundred orphans are now drinking purified water, literally, for the first time in their lives. It was an amazing trip. Agua Viva provided health, hygiene, and dental care training to a full house of new teachers. Our friends were surprised to see that we came equipped with two “full blown” dentists with a full complement of equipment, materials, and supplies. They are already selling water! It is a real joy to see these concrete results so quickly!

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In Ecuador, Curt Mader is leading our next volunteer group to a large school in Pomachaca, Ecuador. The school is beautiful and it is hard to believe that these 500 children have never been taught the importance of clean drinking water; nor have they had the opportunity to drink it. Agua Viva has been so blessed in Ecuador. We have our largest of group of in-country volunteers there and we have very strong group of leaders there are committed to serving the poor.

Hondurasimg_06651

To top it off, we have a large volunteer group headed to Quisgualagua, Honduras, on October 22, 2016. Again, we are providing water purification systems, education, and dental services. And, yes, we are taking precautions against the Zika virus! This is undoubtedly one of the poorest areas we have served. In cooperation with the Methodist Church, Agua Viva will be providing our very first installation in Honduras, just 10 miles from Nicaragua.

Tanzania, Africa2016-01-22_9-15-48

In April of this year, Agua Viva sent a small team to Zinga, Tanzania. In a brand new children’s hospital, Agua Viva signed a covenant and agreed to provide a water purification system there in 2017. This will expand Agua Viva to three continents! That is a big step. There are lots of new challenges there but one thing is NOT different; their need for pure clean ozonated water. Can you imagine a “hospital” with no clean water? Well, we are going to fix that!

Kenya, Africaafrica part 2 2

The same team visited two orphanages in Kenya. We have great opportunity there and we hope to return… soon… We are building relationships there and we have 1,000 orphans waiting for Agua Viva to grow enough to respond to the needs. One thousand people died in this area in January of this year from Cholera… a water borne disease.

Please, please, please… if you have not already purchased tickets to our Annual Agua Viva Celebration please do so now by clicking on this link: www.aguavivainternational.org. 100% of the proceeds will go directly toward bringing clean water to those in need!

2016 Agua Viva International Annual Celebration

Please join us for this years’ celebration at a great new venue! During the evening we will share about all our 2016 installations and how Agua Viva is expanding into a new continent! Be sure to come hungry as dinner will be served and come ready to bid on all our wonderful silent auction items. Tickets will be on sale from 9.1.16-11.1.2016.  We anticipate tickets will go fast so please purchase tickets in advance.

 

You can purchase tickets here:

[button link=”https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agua-viva-international-annual-celebration-tickets-27003159176″ type=”big” newwindow=”yes”]Buy Tickets[/button]

If you need any assistance registering please email gabe@aguavivainternational.org. We can’t wait to see you there!