Friday, September 3, 2010

More Repairs

Instead of kitchen sinks and washing machines, most families in Guatemala have pilas. Every thing is done in the pila...washing dishes, washing clothes and it is also where the refreshment of a glass of contaminated water comes from if you are not fortunate enough to have a water filter or bottled water delivery. (Only a few families in Pueblo Nuevo use bottled water and no family has a water filter, though that will begin to change in December. More on water a little later...)

This is the pila at Marta's house.

I am not sure exactly what happened here. It was obviously installed incorrectly years ago. It wasn't established on a base and there was no drainage for it. The result was a lot of contaminated water sitting around, never drying up, being constantly added to and breeding a serious amount of mosquitos and other disease causing insects. But even before I thought all of that, I thought about the very small children that often stay there alone and knew that this large amount of water (it was more and deeper than it looks in the photos) was a big safety hazard for the toddlers that were running around it.

The materials needed to fix it, to create a base for it and create drainage, was delivered the next day. The men in the family are now working between rainy days to fix it.

Marta's home is also in need of other repairs. She needs an entirely new kitchen and some repairs in their bedroom (the only other room of their house), just as most in Pueblo Nuevo do. It was hard to tell her that I do not know when we will be able to help her with that because we cannot do every thing that needs to be done at once or in a short amount of time. All I could do was add her to the growing list, promise to keep praying and working on their behalf and promise to not forget her family.

For now, her home is a little safer than it was two weeks ago, but having to walk away from unmet needs that I know are creating dangerous situations for entire families weighs very heavily on me.

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