Agua Pura Para El Pueblo is Proudly Celebrating Our Two Year Anniversary Here on Global Giving!
Thanks to your support we’ve been able to bring our program of clean water to more and more communities and families throughout Latin America. Each year has been busier and more exciting than the last and every donation has helped make our work more successful and effective.
We’ve given numerous programs in Mexico and Guatemala, last year we went to Panama twice and we’ve just returned from a great project in Peru! We’ve been to the suburbs of big cities and to remote communities without electricity. Agua Pura always works directly with families; as we say, “Una Familia a la Vez One Family at a Time - One Community at a Time”. Our small groups teach simple, inexpensive ways that families can protect themselves from water borne disease and have safe and healthy lives. We train local health workers in modern methods of water testing and provide them with the supplies they need to help their neighbors.
The need is great and expanding however, and we have received many new requests for our programs. This month of December we are focusing our efforts on raising the funds necessary to continue our work. Agua Pura’s programs are inexpensive and every dollar donated helps many families, but we need your support to continue! Can you help us especially at this critical end of the year fundraising time? Your generous $50 or $100 dollar donation can go far toward helping families have clean, safe drinking water! If you purchase a Water Pasteurization Indicator as a gift for a friend or family member you will also be giving 10 of them to families that need them desperately to make their water safe to drink. A $100 donation to our project will pay for a water testing kit for a health worker in a remote community - and pay to to train her as well. Global Giving has numerous matching programs and your dollars can be multiplied many times over.
Can you consider making an automatic monthly contribution? Recurring donations help us plan and budget our limited resources. Starting Monday, December 20th through the end of the year, an anonymous sponsor is matching our new recurring donors and your commitment to a small monthly contribution would really help us.
You can be assured that your donation will be carefully used. We’re proud of the work we do and love to share our success stories with our friends, so you will be able to see and read about how you have impacted the lives of so many families.
Thank you very much and Happy Holidays to all of you, wherever you are!
Danis is a young Wounaan woman living in a remote village in Eastern Panama. These indigenous communities are often isolated and transportation is by dugout canoe. She was a very good student but to continue her education she attended government boarding schools far away from her home. Danis graduated from high school and now her goal is to someday become a doctor.We first met Danis when she attended Agua Pura’s four day training program in Yaviza, Panama to learn our modern methods of water and sanitation. From the very first we were impressed by her intelligence and dedication She studied how to test her communities drinking water for bacterial contamination and learned various ways to make drinking water safe to drink. She was a leader in her training and helped others as well. Agua Pura provided her with testing supplies and water pasteurization indicators to take back to her village, and now she is now back in her community assisting her neighbors keep their drinking water safe.Agua Pura’s goal is to train and support more people like Danis. We give them water testing and purification supplies and work with them to help their community. These supplies are inexpensive but vital to the health of Wounaan families and children. Your generous donations go directly back to the Wounaan people by helping Danis and others help themselves and their neighbors have safe drinking water. Rather than waiting for someone to provide clean wells or water purification equipment in the future, we help families TODAY.
Please consider continuing your support of our work, 100% of your donation goes to providing water testing and purification programs to communities like Danis's.
Dear Friends and Supporters:It’s been an exciting Spring for our organization! With your financial support and encouragement we’ve been busy teaching volunteers from different organizations our methods of water testing and purification, even giving on-line workshops, and now we’re lining up several service trips for this summer and fall. It looks like it’s going to be a great year! Here’s just some of what we’ve been doing:A Community College here in Portland, Oregon is home to SEED, a two year U.S. State Department program for students from Latin America who are studying Environmental Technology. They come from poor rural communities and are learning practical water and sanitation procedures that they can take back to help their families and neighbors. Agua Pura was asked to help their program by demonstrating some of the techniques that we advocate. We had a very interesting workshop with these students, they all are very intelligent and curious and had lots of great questions. In addition to their studies we showed how to make solar stoves and “rocket stoves” and each student got to make a WAPI to take home. To graduate from their program they needed to make a thesis presentation of an technology appropriate to their communities, and several students included our work in their presentations. We also agreed to return later this summer for another more in depth program for the second year students on water testing for bacterial contamination.We think these students will be great ambassadors and advocates for clean water and for Agua Pura when they return home, and we will continue to support them however we can!Next month Agua Pura will be returning to Panama to meet with the indigenous Wounaan tribe we visited in January and present our training program in water testing and water purification. Health workers from the different native communities will test their drinking water and we will work with families to help make their water safe. It should be an interesting trip and we’ll report later how it went.And -- We’ve just agreed to go to Peru this October! Agua Pura will travel with another non profit, Health Bridges International, to help train local health workers in Northern Peru. This will be our first trip to Peru, but like our other projects we plan to start a long term relationship with the communities there.AGAIN, IT IS YOUR VALUED SUPPORT THAT MAKES OUR WORK POSSIBLE, AND WE COULD NOT CONTINUE WITHOUT YOUR HELP. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Tom CarterExecutive Director
Dear Friends and SupportersI want to share with you some important news. In January, Agua Pura was invited to Panama to meet with tribal communities and learn about their water problems. The Wounaan peoples are one of several distinct native american tribes there with their own language and culture. Traditionally they have lived for many centuries in the Darien area of eastern Panama overlapping with Columbia, in protected areas called Comarcas or reservations.In recent years increasing outside pressures have negatively impacted their communities and threatened the Wounaan’s culture. Violence spilling over from Columbia’s drug wars and illegal logging and cattle ranching on their lands have caused water pollution and illness in the communities. Though Panama is a relatively wealthy nation for Central America, government help and resources rarely reach the Wounaan.Because of Agua Pura’s background in clean water and sanitation I was invited to speak at the biannual Congress of the Wounaan Peoples about our water testing and water purification programs. The Congress or meeting was held in the community of Puerto Lara in the Darien area. Several hundred people attended, with both men and women equally represented and participating. Among the many important topics they discussed including health, education, land rights and security, I made a brief presentation about how they could learn to test and disinfect their water supplies and keep their families healthy and safe. I also tested some of the local water supplies for bacterial contamination and found several that were highly polluted.Unfortunately, contaminated drinking water has lately become an urgent problem, with a number of small Wounaan communities having no source of clean water. Because of this urgency I was asked if Agua Pura would help them develop a program of water testing and water purification. Their plan would be to have a group of trained health workers who would regularly monitor local water sources and leading community members who would advise families on steps they should take. Agua Pura would train the health workers, provide supplies and support their work. We would also work with the Wounaan communities to insure that they have access to clean drinking water, demonstrating water purification methods and safe water storage. To be effective it may require a several year commitment of support from Agua Pura.The Wounaan people have asked for our help and I am committed to provide it if we can, but Agua Pura will need your backing and support more than ever to achieve it. To support our work with the Wounaan people I am establishing a special fund at Global Giving. Money contributed to this fund will go to help support the training and supplying of health workers and others to monitor drinking water in Wounaan communities. Because of the urgency of the problem we may divert resources from other programs to start this program. Agua Pura will work with the leadership of the Wounaan tribes to oversee the work of the water monitors. It is Wounaan’s goal that these programs ultimately come under their direction and control, and Agua Pura supports them.Thank you so much for your support this last year. Because of your donations Agua Pura has been able to continue and expand it’s mission in Latin America serving more and more families. Now we come to you with an urgent request for your support on a new program. Please see our project titled “Train 20 Indigenous Health Workers in Panama” #13128. Any donation you make will immediately go to providing clean drinking water for the Wounaan people of Panama.Sincerely,Tom CarterExecutive DirectorAgua Pura Para El Pueblo
One of Agua Pura’s important missions is to teach families ways that they can make their own water safe to drink. Rather than drilling wells, installing water systems or other expensive projects, Agua Pura demonstrates simple, inexpensive things they can do immediately to improve the health of their families. These methods are nearly free, easy to do and good for the environment. Later, when resources to build large projects become available these families will already have been protecting their families health.
As supporters of our work, you already know that we go into communities in Latin America and train local health workers and other community leaders to test local drinking water sources for bacterial contamination. Diarrheal disease from drinking polluted water kills over a million children each year. Agua Pura trains these people in modern, accurate methods of water testing then provides them with equipment and support at no charge so that they can continue to monitor their local water supplies.
After local health workers are trained in water testing we then go directly into the communities to work with families, to demonstrate these very simple and effective ways to make their water safe. In dry, arid climates we teach people how to pasteurize water using simple reflector stoves made of cardboard and aluminum foil. In rainy areas in Central America we build ‘rocket stoves” that efficiently burn waste fuel such as sticks and corn stalks and can be used for cooking as well as water purification. And we pass out pasteurization indicators - “WAPI’s” that show when the water is safe to drink. We advocate for simple chlorine or other anti-bacterial drops that can kill pathogens.Of course one of the most effective, least expensive and least followed procedures to prevent infection is hand washing. In areas where drinking water is scarce or expensive, hand washing can seem like a luxury. We work with school children and mothers to provide inexpensive hand washing stations in homes and schools that use little water but allow families to wash their hands after using the toilet and before cooking and eating.
This past summer and fall Agua Pura has begun to test various methods of water purification to see which are safest and most reliable for families to use. There are many different procedures advocate by different organizations, some of which have only modest documentation about effectiveness, especially in real world settings. Your contributions have made it possible for us to compare them against each other. Using the same water testing techniques we teach to others, we tested various filter systems, solar pasteurization methods, sunlight UV disinfection and other techniques to see if they could make highly contaminated and dangerous water safe to drink. Some methods did very well, some less so.
We plan to document and publish the results of our work later this winter, but we wanted to show you, our supporters and donors, some pictures of work that you have made possible. As always, we are deeply grateful for your help.
Your generous support of Agua Pura has made our work possible. All of our supplies and teaching materials were provided by your donations. Agua Pura volunteers pay all their own expenses so that 100% of your funds goes to our programs. We are deeply grateful for your help.
With your help Agua Pura has provided hundreds of Water Pasteurization Indicators (WAPI's) to families. WAPI's are a simple device that shows when water has been heated enough to make it safe to drink. A new project of ours has been to develop an information card with drawings showing how the WAPI's work without words, for families that don't read English or Spanish. Because of your support you can have a WAPI for your own use. They are good for camping or emergencies when you don't have access to clean water. Send us your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you one.
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