En route to a rural village in western Nicaragua, we pulled over to talk to a man and woman on a horse-drawn cart headed the same way. When you see these sorts of sights along the road in Latin America, you don’t think much of it… until you realize what they’re doing.
This man and his cousin were returning from a three-mile ride to fetch water, because they have no water source in their village. Here, a local family might spend three hours a day just getting water, and pay as much as 40 percent of their income to buy enough for their basic needs – drinking, bathing, cooking, etc.
Bear in mind that these folks are living under a blistering hot sun, with no air conditioning, in a humid climate where you can expect to be drenched in perspiration 24-hours a day. If you stop sweating, it’s because you’re dehydrated – and many villagers are. Even with our giant water bottles at our sides all day, we were never adequately hydrated. I felt desperate for a tree to stand under just to escape the scorching heat for a brief moment, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the rich man in the biblical parable, begging for a drop of water to cool his tongue.
The good news is, we’ve got a great project in the works that’s going to make those water carts a thing of the past. Cross is funding new infrastructure that will bring clean water directly into the homes of thousands of poor villagers. It’ll be awesome to return to Nicaragua a year or so from now, after all the funds have been raised and the work has been done, and see how the villagers’ lives have been radically transformed!