“We will remember you…when we use our toilets”

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Some of the recipients of the new latrines (toilets).

On my last day in San Antonio, we had a big ceremony to celebrate the new water tower, electric that has been installed in two homes (the rest of the homes should be on-grid within 6 months) and the new latrines!

It was a lovely sunny day with music and food and small speeches by the community and the organizations that helped them over the years.

The day before the ceremony, I was given a skirt and shirt from the ladies in San Antonio. It was a sweet and unexpected gift. It was also quite funny to me that I was given a typical Guatemaltecan outfit to wear when the ladies themselves wore jeans just like I usually do. When I showed up the morning of the ceremony, I wasn’t surprised that I was the only one in a typical outfit. I had to laugh at myself and smile for them. The ladies were so happy to see me wearing the outfit that they had given to me and even though I felt extremely out of place (I was the only “gringa” in attendance), I knew it meant a lot to them (or it was an elaborate prank that they will finally share with me next time I visit 😉 ). 

During the ceremony, I had an opportunity to share with the attendees. In my speech, I spoke about Mark 12:30-31 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Most of the residents of San Antonio acknowledge God – they know him in their heads, so I was sharing how important it is to know Him in their hearts. I have a deeper love for San Antonio than the other communities I have worked in over the years. I know I shouldn’t have favorites, but as I was preparing to leave, I was thinking about how sweet it has been for me to see the children grow into teens, new babies come along, etc.  I don’t know when I will return. They have water, they have toilets and they have an awesome God who continues to pour love into their community and bring different people into their lives. I don’t know if I will be one of those helpers again in the future, but I am grateful to have played a small part in their lives over these past 8 years.  

 

 

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Cruz was the lead mason on our water tower back in ’09. He was very protective back then and would sometimes drive his motorcycle behind my truck to make sure I made it out of the “bad” stretch of road and onto the highway before he would turn around and drive back home.

We had ribbon cuttings at each major location – the water tower, one of the latrines, the home with electric and one of the water faucets.

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Eric didn’t actually cut the ribbon while sitting on our new toilet, but it made for a fun photo op before the crowd arrived. Eric is a pastor from a large town nearby (Guazacapan) and his wife, Olga, is in charge of Operation Jabez (the ministry I partner with) in Guatemala.
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“I am so happy to be living here today…we have water in the house and we have latrines and that will help protect our health” -Lazaro, Community Board
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“We thank God for all the blessings that He has given to us…because we had a dream and now it is done” -Bonaventura, Community Board
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“Now we do not have to walk to get our water. We will remember you when we get water at our homes…and when we use our toilets” – Hilda, always laughing, Community Board
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If I ever move to San Antonio, this is how I want to build my home. I love this house so much – the bamboo and palm roof keep it cool on the inside during the hot hot days.
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This is another one of my favorites. There is a TV inside that is hooked to a car battery as its power source. Not all of the houses are quite this nice, but every time I visit, the houses are improving. This is just a representation of San Antonio – a small, 250-person community. Guatemala is diverse- from small towns to big cities.

 

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