The Living Waters for the World Cuba Network was established in 2012 to coordinate, train teams, and create sustainability for the growing number of LWW systems located there. As of the end of 2013, teams trained and equipped by LWW have installed 25 systems in Cuba. These systems collectively have produced more than 2 million gallons of clean water for their communities. The Matanzas Evangelical Seminary (Seminario Evangelico de Teologia), a Presbyterian/Episcopal partnership, has been assisting with in-country logistics, housing, and transportation. The Cuban Presbyterian Church (IPRC) is also working with teams to identify and prioritize projects.
Newsletters published by the LWW Cuba Network may be viewed here.
There are 39 churches in the IPRC and many are in communities that need clean water. The systems that have already been installed serve the surrounding communities and are a Christian mission of the churches where they are installed. In addition to churches, opportunities exist in community centers associated with churches. Systems have also been installed in ecumenical locations beyond the IPRC and other denominations are welcomed and encouraged to join in the LWW work in Cuba.
U.S. citizens are allowed to travel to Cuba under a religious license and the Cuban government readily issues religious visas. Direct flights to Cuba from the U.S. are available and reliable, so travelling to Cuba, while restricted, is not difficult.
Teams continue to be formed and trained, and existing teams are being encouraged to consider Cuba sites as Operating Partners. If your church has a sister relationship with a church in Cuba, you are encouraged to consider adding clean water to that relationship.
NOTE: If your team has not yet been trained at Clean Water U, please click here for a list of Living Waters for the World training dates.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Cuba Network are invited to contact Ed Cunnington for more information.
The DR shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. It is a Spanish speaking country. While poor, the people are hard working. They feel a strong connection with the US through baseball and family members in Miami, New York, and other cities. Most of the younger citizens are learning to speak English. Due to a combination of limited governmental budgets, geography and other reasons, infrastructure has not kept up with the needs of the population. As a result, the poor spend a significant portion of their income purchasing clean, safe water. The poorest of the poor drink from contaminated sources and pay a high price with health ailments.
There is an urgent need for clean water systems in the DR, especially along the southern coast. Both surface water and well water are contaminated due to population density, agriculture and limited wastewater infrastructure. However, the DR is fertile ground for groups looking for a project location. Plumbing and electrical supplies are relatively abundant and transportation there is convenient (especially through Miami, Atlanta and New York). Sometimes things do take a little longer, being on “DR time”, but the quality of workmanship is first rate. Potential operating partners include service clubs, churches and co-ops. Although the LWW DR network is just getting started, our experience thus far indicates that the Operating Partners readily embrace both the water treatment and health & hygiene aspects of the mission.
Teams planning to work in the Dominican Republic should be aware that in urban areas there is often a preference for and expectation that water is treated using reverse osmosis. This can substantially increase the cost of providing a community with clean water.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW DR Network are invited to contact William Milam, LWW DR Network Coordinating Team Moderator, to learn of potential opportunities.
El Salvador ( 'Republic of The Savior') is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. El Salvador borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the countries of Guatemala and Honduras to the north and east. El Salvador is a country of mind-boggling diversity. Mountain cloud forests and fuming volcanoes, charming colonial towns and broad green valleys, black-sand beaches and some of the world's best surf -they're all here, and the country remains largely unknown by travelers.
El Salvador is also a land that has suffered through a bloody civil war and devastating natural disasters. Despite these trials, Salvadorans possess an amazing resilience, as well as a wonderful friendliness and hospitality towards visitors.
El Salvador has been called the most water stressed country in Central America. A large percent of rural-dwellers have no piped water, and little accessibility to potable water. In the countryside, families not connected to the water grid depend on non-potable water from wells and rivers. Also, many rivers flood dangerously in the rainy season, and dry up in the summertime, causing water supply problems for rural families.
Currently, there are over 20 filtration systems installed or in-process across El Salvador, providing each of the surrounding communities with an opportunity to live longer, more healthful lives because they are finally free of water-borne illness and disease. Many of the systems operate in extremely rural communities, and a few are within 2 hours of the airport. For churches, civic groups, and other organizations that are interested in developing healthful relationships, this country offers a variety of opportunities for life-changing mission for all partners.
Congregations who have an existing relationship with a group or community in El Salvador may consider adding a water project to that mission. Other churches or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW El Salvador Network are invited to contact Eric Reidenbach, Network Coordinating Team Moderator for more information.
In 2006 the first Living Waters for the World system was installed in Abetifi, Ghana. The pioneering church that installed it encouraged a sister church to join the work and there are now 15 functioning systems in Ghana. In 2010 Ghana became LWW’s latest Network and the dream of having a LWW training school in Ghana became a long term goal. In 2011 a covenant was signed between LWW and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) formalizing a relationship that has been growing from the beginning and making the PCG an Initiating Partner in Ghana. Ghana has a stable government and developing economy. It is one of the most stable countries in Africa, positioning itself for leadership on that continent.
The demand in Ghana for LWW systems and health education has grown beyond the means of just two congregations. The two churches supporting the Network are committed to continue, but need USA partners to join them. The PCG is fully supportive of Initiating Partners from the USA; providing them with transportation, board and housing while they are in Ghana. The Ghanaian people, and the PCG in particular, have the faith, strength and determination to lift their country to a modern level of health and education. Working with them is a joy because their progress is so tangible.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to establish a partnership with a congregation, school or community in Ghana for the purpose of bringing training in health/hygiene education and installing a water treatment system are invited to contact Jim Levernier, or Steve Valentine, LWW Ghana Network Coordinating Team Moderators, to learn of potential opportunities.
More than half of Guatemala’s population lives below the poverty level, with nearly a quarter living on less than $2/day. It is a very diverse nation in terms of culture, terrain, and language. Guatemala boasts a large concentration of volcanoes (some currently active), which are partly responsible for its plethora of topographic formations and climates. In addition to Spanish (which is spoken only by a portion of the population), Guatemala has more than 20 other dialects, spoken by members of tribes descended from its ancient Mayan civilization. In areas of the country where Mayan culture is still dominant, ancient customs, practices, and beliefs are guiding community influences, deeply connecting people to the earth and its sacred resources.
Currently, there are over 210 Living Waters for the World filtration systems installed across Guatemala, providing each of the surrounding communities with an opportunity to live longer, more healthful lives because they are finally free of water-borne illness and disease. Some of the systems operate near metropolitan areas, some in the vast open spaces of barely-populated wilderness, and some in many places in between. For churches, civic groups, and other organizations that are interested in immersing themselves in Guatemalan culture and developing healthful relationships, this country offers a variety of opportunities for life-changing mission for all partners.
Congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Guatemala Network are invited to contact Dave Parks for more information.
The Living Waters for the World Haiti Network Coordinating Team was established in 2008. The Network exists to support the sustainability of a growing inventory of Living Waters' systems in Haiti and to provide information and consulting support for participating individuals and project teams in the U.S.
Ayiti (Haiti) is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. The average daily income for most Haitian families is $2 to $5 USD. Most safe water has to be purchased as bottled water from retail sources. These sources are usually hard to find outside of the larger cities and towns and require significant travel to reach. The cost of bottled water can consume as much as one-third of a family's daily income. Haitians of all ages continue to suffer with and die from a number of easily preventable water-borne diseases including cholera, typhoid and dysentery.
There continues to be a significant need throughout Haiti for additional sources of safe water. To learn more, contact Bob McCoy, moderator of the Haiti Network Coordinating Team. If your team has not yet been trained at Living Waters for the World's Clean Water U, click here for a list of training dates.
The Haiti Network Coordinating Team includes members working with Living Waters' partner organization Solar Under the Sun. Solar Under the Sun's mission is to provide solar power where no reliable and affordable source of electrical power is available. The solar systems designed by the Solar Under the Sun technical team provide power for Living Waters' system and other basic uses and eliminate the need for generators. If you are interested in learning more about Solar Under the Sun, visit their website: www.solarunderthesun.org. Click here for a list of Solar School training dates.
Living Waters for the World and Solar Under the Sun are ecumenical and invite any individual or group wishing to learn more about their programs to contact Bob McCoy.
Bordering on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the terrain of Honduras varies from beaches to volcanic mountains. It is the most central of the Central American countries, bordering Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. While modern in the largest cities, it is quite poor and undeveloped rural areas for the most part. Politically, it is relatively stable with significant foreign investment and industry. The people are hardworking, and many have family ties in the U.S.
Spanish is the major language although English is taught in schools and spoken widely. Infrastructure is minimal in rural areas with few public water and sanitation systems and in areas where the government has installed basic water plants, treatment is sporadic and often ineffectual. It is a myth that only tourists suffer illness from drinking contaminated water. Malnutrition, diarrhea and dysentery are commonplace. Approximately 5% of the population can afford to drink bottled water on a regular basis, leaving the vast majority without clean water to drink.
There are many existing partnerships between U.S.-based churches and Honduran organizations. These include Honduran churches, health clinics, daycare centers, orphanages, and humanitarian aid organizations. Living Waters for the World offers the opportunity to significantly increase the impact of these existing relationships by providing one of the most essential human needs. The impact on improving health and helping break the cycle of poverty is almost immediate. The number of LWW systems in Honduras is growing rapidly and expanding into new areas of the country.
Honduras is the first LWW network to experience water projects initiated by concerned Hondurans to benefit Hondurans (aka. Hondurans helping Hondurans). There are many opportunities for Initiating Partners in the U.S. who desire to establish a partnership in Honduras to provide clean water, either as a new stand-alone team, or in conjunction with existing teams serving Honduras.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Honduras Network are invited to contact Kasey Potzler, LWW Honduras Network Coordinating Team Moderator, to learn of potential opportunities.
Contact: Carolyn Buzek
Moderator, Nicaragua Network Coordinating Team
View Nicaragua Guidebook - under development
Nicaragua is a country of contrasts, extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, from Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. It is a country rich in natural beauty, from the many lakes to the numerous volcanoes and rolling hills, yet poor in so many ways.
Considered to be the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, the annual per capita income is approximately $430. The infant mortality rate (for those under five years of age) is over 6% and malnutrition runs about 40% among children. More than 82% of the population lives in extreme poverty, making less than $1 a day. About two-thirds of the population has no access to adequate sewer systems. Yet the Nicaraguan people are very warm and accepting of foreigners.
There are magnificent volcanoes in many regions, two large lakes (Managua and Nicaragua) and many smaller ones, tropical conditions at the lower elevations and many cool mountainous areas. It is often the same items of natural beauty that create so many natural disasters: hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and droughts.
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America (about the size of New York) and yet with just over 5 million people has the smallest population. Geographically Nicaragua is divided into seventeen departments (similar to states or provinces) two of which, the autonomous regions of the Atlantic, were given limited self-rule in the mid 1980s. Only 12% of the roads are paved. Primary crops are coffee, bananas, sugar cane, cotton, rice, corn, and tobacco. There is over 50% underemployment.
The need for clean water is great and in many areas there is a significant need for any water, especially in the dry season (which extends from at least October through May). In the few urban and "touristy" areas, bottled water is available but at a high cost.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Nicaragua Network are invited to contact Carolyn Buzek, LWW Nicaragua Network Coordinating Team Moderator, to learn of potential opportunities.
Peru is a country of great physical beauty with widely diverse demographics, culture and geography. It also has a fascinating history believed to be at least 10,000 years old. Although Machu Picchu is the best-known archeology site, there are many others, and evidence of new and old civilizations continues of be found.
The area of Peru is 496,000 sq. miles, a little larger than the entire Southeastern US (Maryland to Florida to Mississippi to Kentucky), or about the size of Alaska.
Peru's ecosystem varies from the jungle climate of the Amazon basin, to the arid coolness of the Andes. The Atacama Desert in southern Peru, northern Chile is considered to be one of the driest places on earth.
There are 93 "living" languages in Peru, although many of these are struggling to survive. Spanish at 84%, Quechua at 13%, and Aymara at 2% are the largest. Most individuals who speak a regional dialect also speak Spanish. Quechua is the ancient language used by the Inca Empire.Peru's population consists of Amerindian at 30%; Mestizo at 50% (mixture Amerindian/Spaniard); European at 15%; and African, Japanese, and Chinese at 5%. Of the total population of about 30 million, about 10 million live in the capital city of Lima.
Peru is governed by an elected democracy and is divided into 25 regions and 195 provinces (Lima is considered a province). The economy is based on agriculture (6%), industry (38%), and services including tourism (56%). Peru is the #2 producer of silver, the #2 grower of asparagus, and the #3 producer of copper in the world
Approximately 40% of the population is estimated to lack safe drinking water. Although there is a water distribution infrastructure in many Peru municipalities, because of the age and care of these systems they can be unreliable and in poor condition. This results in contaminated water and its associated health issues. Purchasing bottled water is expensive. Local water must be boiled. Many times this is not practical due to limited fuel costs and resources. Many locations have wells, but these too are often contaminated.
Peru is in the Central Time Zone. During the US summer months, the time in Lima is the same as in the US Central. Because Peru does not observe Daylight Saving Time, time relations between the two countries shift during certain months. You should check on this before you leave the US.
Because it lies in the Southern Hemisphere their seasons are reversed from ours. The closer to the equator one gets the less the temperature fluctuates, although there is significantly more rain during their summer.
The need for clean water is great in all areas of Peru, from the Amazon River Basin to the coastal plains to the Andes Mountain range. Living Waters for the World trained teams have installed systems in over 18 communities in Peru with the country being recognized as an LWW network in 2015. LWW's Peru Network coordinating team supports systems in a variety of places the length of Peru.
The Latino culture places a great deal of emphasis on personal contacts. As a representative of Living Waters and the United States we recommend that you emphasize getting to know and understand your Peruvian partners as well as possible before delving into a water project. The NCT should be able to help significantly with this process.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Peru Network are invited to contact Rob Crowell, LWW Peru Network Coordinating Team Moderator, to learn of potential opportunities.
Southeast Mexico was recognized as a network by Living Waters for the World in 2014. The network is roughly comprised of the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Veracruz in southeastern Mexico, west of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean. These areas are mostly rural and are home to many indigenous peoples (Mayan, Zapotec and Mixtec), some of whom do not speak Spanish. The area has several Aztec and Mayan cultural sites with some of the most notable Mayan ones at Palenque. The terrain in all four states is quite rugged with a mix of urban, rural and agricultural areas. The Southeast Mexico network has 16 installed systems though not all are operating as planned/desired. The primary goal of the Network Coordinating Team (NCT) is to help ensure that all the systems in the network provide sustainable access to safe, clean water to the people in the communities where the systems are installed.
With a focus on long-term sustainability of water systems, the Southeast Mexico network is seeking partners to help transform marginally operating (or non-operating) systems into sustainable ones; new installations of systems in southeast Mexico are a secondary priority. Teams wishing to work with Operating Partners in Southeast Mexico who need help transforming their systems will be assisted by the network in developing their projects.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to participate in the LWW Southeast Mexico Network are invited to contact Lowell Youngquist to learn of potential opportunities.
“Don’t drink the water!” Anyone who has traveled to Mexico has heard that warning, for virtually all water sources in the country are contaminated with bacteria and/or parasites, causing serious health problems for local residents, as well as travelers. But there are now over 60 communities in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico where one can drink safe water, thanks to Living Waters for the World water systems; and more are in progress at this time!
The Yucatan Network has a covenant relationship with a non-profit organization in the peninsula - "Agua Viva de la Peninsula" - whereby these two bodies partner in the identification of communities in the area in which a clean water system would be successful.
U.S. congregations of any denomination or civic organizations wishing to establish a partnership with a congregation in the Yucatan for the purpose of installing a water system and developing an ongoing relationship are invited to contact Hope Anderson, LWW Yucatan Network Coordinating Team Moderator, to learn of potential opportunities