Project #9006

Essential Water Projects for Bolivians

by Quaker Bolivia Link

We are so grateful for all of the donations that we have received toward this project. We had to go ahead and dip into our limited reserves to fulfill the promises we made to the 38 families living in the village of Vilaque. The project has significantly improved access to water for these families. Also the families received training in hygiene, water system maintenance and community organization.  Please continue to send donations so we can continue to support the brave, beautiful people living on the Altiplano. We want to empower the communities by providing the education and resources for them to create and sustain their own projects, allowing them to continue living on the land that their ancestors have for many generations.


One of the co-founders of QBL, Ken Barratt, took a trip to Bolivia this summer with 10 volunteers to witness the work completed by Bolivians, thanks to QBL support and funding. He reports:

"Way up at over 12,000 feet we saw QBL greenhouses bursting with healthy vegetables - and even strawberries and peaches.
We saw healthy chickens which are providing crucial protein from eggs and meat.
We saw a QBL irrigation system which is greatly increasing crop yields.
We saw QBL drinking water supplies which are transforming lives.
We talked to community members who beamed with pride and shook our hands and hugged us.
We saw giggling children splashing in clear water gushing from their faucet outside their houses.

We heard how family members no longer have to walk a mile for each bucket of water.
We have been to a region where the only other active development agency apart from QBL is the Chinese government who have a mobile dental clinic.
So many wonderful impressions to tell our friends about.



For me one harder image overlies all the others. Take a look at this photo. The woman lives alone in this tiny mud brick hut in the village of Vilaque. It is almost 13,000 feet above sea level and icy cold every night. Each morning her son lifts her out and lays her on the ground outside where she spends every day of her life. She can no longer walk. She just sits and shakes. She has Parkinson's disease and is slowly dying.

We have piped water to every house in the  community, including hers. With your help QBL achieves so much, but as I sit in my warm office this afternoon thoughts of this one woman remind me that poverty has many cruel faces.
And yet I'm inspired by this image and by the scores of you who have sent their donations for this village. Lives are being changed."

Be a proud supporter of QBL! Let's fully fund this project so we can help establish another permanent water supply!

Photos just arrived from our Vilaque community water project

QBL Bolivia technical team member Sandra Laura has just sent us super photos of our water supply in the village of Vilaque. As soon as we saw them we knew we had to share some of them with you.

This has been an eight month commitment - a partnership between our technicians, the people of the community and our generous supporters.

All 38 families in the village now have water piped to their house.

These children no longer have to carry buckets of water from the stream several times a day. They may even be freed to attend school for the first time.
Aren't they just the cutest? Smiling children - that's what it's all about.

For the very first time in her life this grandmother has water piped to her house.

We're going to be sending out a fuller report on the Vilaque project. In the meantime, thank you all of you who contributed so generously to make one small miracle happen.

We have used our limited reserve funds to fulfill our commitment to this community.  Since 1995, thanks to the hard working community members living on the altiplano, our staff and your generous support QBL has funded over 500 greenhouse projects and 55 villages now have safe and clean water supplies close to home. Please contine to support this project by making contributions and by sharing the principles that guide our actions. We are proud to support QBL! Let's fully fund this project so we can help establish a permanent water supply to the village Palcoma Baja.

A young girl sent to collect water.
A young girl sent to collect water.


QBL has initiated the project by visiting the community, listening to the residents voice their  needs and concerns, and completed a feasibility study for the water project. QBL has helped organize the families in Vilaque committed to participating in the project and formed a water/sanitation project committee.  In addition, the community members have made commitments of their time and labor. Construction has begun; six smaller water intakes and storage tanks have been installed. Piping will be installed once the rains subside, hopefully this month. They are expecting to inaugurate the project in March. The formation of a local water committee helps to guarantee its sustainability. The members of this committee will change annually. These types of efforts do not leave families dependent on outside aid. By carefully choosing to support projects that help the indigenous people provide food for themselves and create safer water supplies QBL promotes independence among the indigenous population. QBL has an office in La Paz with a staff of four indigenous Aymara-speaking Bolivians who have graduated as agricultural technicians and are giving back to their own people.  Our La Paz team is working with the community of Vilaque. As you can see in the photo attached the houses are dispersed over a broad geographic area; the community members put in an immense amount of physical work, such as mixing cement or laying pipes. This contribution gives them a well-deserved sense of ownership. Please continue to support this project financially. I believe QBL’s effectiveness is increased by the amount of respect, social justice, honesty, community building and service shown to all those involved in the mission.
Beneficiaries of a clean and safe water supply!
Beneficiaries of a clean and safe water supply!
A villager collects water from the current source.
A villager collects water from the current source.
Community members measure distance for piping.
Community members measure distance for piping.
Old open well used by Vilaque families.
Old open well used by Vilaque families.
A view of the geography in this community.
A view of the geography in this community.

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Organization Information

Quaker Bolivia Link

Location: San Diego, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Quaker Bolivia Link
Project Leader:
Robert Vincent
Leverett, Massachusetts United States

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