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

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.  



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.

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.
“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
“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
Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.57.56 AM
“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
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.
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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