Luis Fernando Salvatierra is the music teacher at Colegio la Patria Sur in San Martin, Guatemala. The school serves children from kindergarten through high school, and is located on the grounds of the Seminario Evangelico Presbiteriano. The Living Waters for the World water system at the seminary provides for the children’s needs as well as the teachers and administrators. In fact, after physical education classes, children can be found gathered by the school’s water dispenser re-hydrating. And whenever they feel the need for a drink of water, they are encouraged to visit the LWW water dispenser. It is a regular part of their day, and has been since 2012 when the water purification system was installed with the help of a team from Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church of Kansas City, Missouri.
The LWW water dispenser is located in the breezeway so that children can refill their water bottles whenever they feel thirsty.
Luis is familiar with the symptoms of drinking contaminated water. He said, “First it is stomachache because of the bacteria. Then diarrhea and sometimes headache, and in more chronic cases, fever.” Luis added, “Here in the school, we don’t have those situations because we have the Living Waters water. Very good water.”
Indeed the children of Patria Sur School looked healthy, happy, and ready to learn, and Luis and his fellow teachers were prepared to keep it that way. He told us, “Three years ago, a Living Waters team came here, and they trained us as teachers - Why the water? What is the water’s importance? And not only the importance of the water, but also how important it is that the water is not contaminated.” As part of LWW’s health education curriculum, the team also taught the teachers how to share these messages with the school children and other members of their community.
Luis remembered, ”They taught us by images, that we needed to wash our hands before we eat, before we cook, after going to the bathroom and after you touch something.” Luis also found a way to incorporate his own talents into the process of teaching others through song. “They also sang songs, and I liked it because I am a musician. They asked us to do an activity - sing the song. But, I did not sing their song; I created a song with that idea,” he said with a smile.
Luis is teaching the kindergartners the song he wrote about using clean water and washing hands
(inspired by the LWW song "Use this Water").
To this day, clean water continues to support the growth and development of the children of Patria Sur School. Luis expressed his heartfelt gratitude, “On behalf La Patria Sur Christian School from San Martín, Guatemala, we thank you so much for the time, for the investment, and for that big, big heart that let you come here and give something that is very helpful.
Our God does not forget anything, even a glass of water, and you, you have not just given us a glass of water, you have given us a lot. May God multiply all that you do.”