Peru In-Country Coordinator Serves with 'Heart'
Serving as Living Waters for the World’s in-country coordinator for the Peru Network is not just a job, said Percy Ayala of Cusco, Peru. “It is my heart!”
Percy Ayala, In-Country Coordinator for the LWW Peru Network
Percy’s obvious love of helping bring safe, clean water to his people is vitally important to this dynamic young man. Growing up in an Andean mountain village with his grandparents, Percy learned early on to love the beauty of the mountains and the heritage handed down from the ancient Inca civilization of the region. But sadly, he has also seen his neighbors suffer from frequent intestinal illnesses caused by drinking contaminated water or by consuming too many sweet bottled sodas because clean drinking water is not available. “But thanks to Living Waters for the World, I’ve had a chance to visit communities with clean water systems and I’ve seen health of people improve so much,” he said. “Living Waters for the World is doing so many great things in Peru. On behalf of my people, I thank you,” he said during a recent visit to Nashville, TN. After Nashville, this dynamic young man headed to Oxford, MS, to Clean Water U where he completed the 103 course which covers the technical aspects of the systems. Last summer, he completed the 101 course, where he learned more about administration and planning for installation and maintenance.
Percy (far left) and other 103 instructors and students demonstrate the "instructor's pose"
Instructor for the 103 course is Carson Salyer, who is also the current moderator of the Peru Network. Carson said that both Percy and Edgar Chavez, who is in-country technician, offer valuable skill and insights as they assess potential water system sites, assist Initiating Partner teams who travel to work in Peru, and, when requested, they can make service calls for us. “We are thrilled to have them working with us and are grateful for all that they have taught us about the culture and people of Peru.”
Percy Ayala and Edgar Chavez are ready to assist LWW water teams and partner communities in Peru.
Percy’s university training is in geological engineering with graduate study in tourism. Using his mastery of three languages, he is an ideal liaison between volunteer teams and the Peru Network as they work with local people to install water systems in villages, schools, and churches. Both Terry Allen and Corinne Sterling, long-time volunteers from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, say that Percy’s work as translator, trusted neighbor, and support on site assessments, installations and follow up is “extremely valuable.” Finding an in-country coordinator with Percy’s enthusiasm and skills is a credit to Don Metzler of Houston, Texas, immediate past moderator of Living Waters for the World’s Peru Network. Don became acquainted with Percy while on an extended visit to Cusco for an immersive course in Spanish. After some persuasion from Don, Percy accepted the challenge of serving with LWW. Suzanne Allen cites the connection with Percy as one of the many times God’s hand has guided the ministry of LWW. “We are so grateful to have Percy in this ministry with us,” she said.
Percy assists members of LWW water team at the site of a system installation
Percy served 16 years as a guide on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, where he perfected his English and shared the beauty of his mountains with people from throughout the world. It is no surprise that Percy is a born communicator, fluent, not only in English, but Spanish as well as the Quechua language spoken by 45 percent of the indigenous population.
Percy lives with his family in Cusco, in southeastern Peru, the ninth highest city in the world. He is an avid soccer player and recently suffered a torn Achilles tendon which put him in a plaster cast with crutch during his recent travels. Thanks to his hosts in Nashville, Corinne Sterling and Suzanne Allen, the two obtained an air cast for Percy which improved his mobility after the hard cast was removed. Percy proudly showed off the air cast on Instagram after his return to Peru.