What's in a Name?
What is a man named "MacGregor" doing as the In-Country Coordinator (ICC) for the LWW Yucatan Network in Mexico? Sounds like we're on the wrong continent, doesn't it! But Carlos Arias MacGregor is, indeed, a native Mexican, whose grandfather was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary in Mexico years ago, and he is very proud of that heritage!
Photo: Carlos and his wife, Angela, who assists with health education
In 2003, when an early LWW system was being installed in a school near his town, Carlos asked if it would be possible to have a system in the church where he is pastor. And thus began a journey that has made him a water purification expert in the Yucatan peninsula. The network that he oversees has expanded to over 60 systems, and four additional ICC's assist him in maintaining a thriving network.
Unlike most of LWW's ICC's, Carlos and his co-coordinators are not paid, receiving only reimbursements for their travel expenses. Most of them are, like Carlos, Presbyterian pastors, and feel that this ministry is a part of their calling. Indeed, as they consider the improvement in the health of thousands of people in the communities they serve, they can literally see the fruits of their labors.
Photo: Carlos addresses the Yucatan Network conference
But Carlos MacGregor is more than a hard worker - he is truly a visionary! Years ago, foreseeing the day when our water systems would come under scrutiny from the Mexican government, Carlos began the process of forming a government registered non-profit organization that would be exempt from taxation and free from control by the national denomination.
In April, 2017, after many years of unsuccessful attempts, Carlos finally obtained a visa to visit the U.S.! He and several others from the Yucatan network attended Clean Water U. Many LWW folks had heard of the legendary Carlos MacGregor, and it was a great treat to have him among us for a few days.
Photo: At Clean Water U Carlos works on the reverse osmosis system at the water building
Photo: Carlos shares a laugh with fellow Clean Water U students at Camp Hopewell
As the oldest of our networks, the Yucatan Network has lead the way for the other LWW networks, learning hard lessons, trying new ideas, and becoming a sustainable organization. It's likely that this would never have happened without the tenacity, vision and unselfish dedication of this Mexican Scotsman!