Update 2011 – 7th drilling Season
The project began the first week in January. As we arrived in Guatemala City we were asked to look at a proposed orphanage site (there are 317,000 orphans in Guatemala) near Chimaltenango and give advice of how to access a clean water source. We met Dan Smith of Paradise Bound Ministries and were able to propose a plan. The site is a particular challenge as it is located on a slender ridge elevated 800’ above the river. Their ministry presently builds simple housing for villagers as a way of establishing a relationship to present the Gospel.
In Chimaltenango, 3 miles from the proposed orphanage site, residents pay 5 quetzales/month for water. In newer villages where wells have been drilled more recently, costing significantly more, the villagers are asked to pay 70 quetzales/month. Many of those folks are returning to use the river rather than pay that much. Dan said many of the illnesses from parasites and severe skin problems are returning.
Our first drilling site was Ixbobo where Bob Perry and Dave Andreson began drilling with the Olson drill. This is the site chosen this year by the Upper Columbia Youth department to construct a church facility. Bob and Dave drilled 200 feet and we followed by installing a hand pump. At the scheduled dedication a couple weeks later we made the point that we don’t make water, the Lord does. The local pastor gave a message and we had prayer. The villagers were SO appreciative . . . and commented how wonderful the water was.
Bob and Dave then moved to Tanhoc and started well #2 there. Pueblo Partisans has been actively assisting the folks in Tanhoc for several years, showing them how to improve their economy and lifestyle. Another charitable entity has offered to help in Tanhoc with a reservoir and water lines throughout the village. Electricity is in the village and the second well will have a submersible pump in it to fill a reservoir on top of the nearby hill. Clean water from the hand pump installed 5 years ago has been a significant health benefit. Amy Backes from Pueblo Partisans said she couldn’t have stayed in the village if she hadn’t had the safe water. It’s very gratifying to see the villagers take the initiative to improve their way of life with this next step.
The drill then went to La Compuerta, a village of 700 at the top of a very high mountain. We didn’t hold much hope of finding water at that altitude. Bucky Mowrey & Speedy Gonzales tried a couple holes 200’ deep, losing a set of drill tools in one hole after a major collapse of the formation. Jon Hansen finished the last part of the last hole before moving the drill back to ICAP. Our thoughts are that a successful well may have to go 900’ – 1,100’ which is beyond our capability. We will consider drilling a couple miles down slope where there is power available and a much better chance of obtaining water.
Bucky, Speedy, and Jon Schoblocher began the well in Morazan with the Stadeli drill. Dominic Parmentier and Bob Cole finished the well and set a hand pump, then moved to Colonia Lourdes, completed a well there, and installed a hand pump.
After starting the well in Morazan and prior to drilling in La Compuerta Bucky & Speedy went to El Salvador for a few days, cleaned out a standby well with the 72 Star drill at that site for the ICC orphanage and installed a pump. This will give a standby water source if the main pump fails. The original plan was to drill another well or two; however, upon observing the water situation, Bucky & Speedy determined there is plenty of water. Water is being wasted in the facility, there are several leaks in water lines that need to be repaired and the check valve was not functioning properly in the large pump. The large pump would easily fill the 40,000 gal. reservoir then the water would go back down the well, emptying the reservoir and leaving the campus with no water for awhile. We arranged for the check valve to be corrected and the system is operating properly now.
Dave Rutledge and Monte Johnson upgraded the carrier truck under the Stadeli drill 50 years by replacing the 1942 GMC with a 1992 International diesel. They moved to Poxte and drilled near to the water reservoir that has previously been filled by river water. The river is nearly dry and no water is in the system. This well, with the existing reservoir and water distribution system will serve several hundred villagers. John Hansen finished that last few feet of drilling and provided a pump test.
Pat Clark upgraded the pump truck carrier from the 1972 Chevrolet to a 1992 Izuzu cabover diesel.
We had 2 dental teams that worked in the villages with us this year. Steve Barrickman came from Ohio and worked one week, being assisted by Lin Avendano and Berny Leonardo, Jr. This team was very professional and efficient. Dr. Barrickman came in after long tiring days pulling teeth and said “wow, I need to take my vitamins”.
Dan Fuller and his sister Lyn Hayden worked for 1 ½ weeks and were assisted by Laura Fuller, Justin Hayden, Blake Hayden, and Rebecca Miller. Comments were heard regarding how caring this team was. Many medical and spiritual needs, other than dentistry, were addressed by both teams. Dan did some of the evangelistic meetings in Barillal. Arrangements have been made for some villagers with critical medical needs to access assistance through the coming months.
The Second Hope Ministries team provided 6 days of basic village health training in Poptun. The coordinator was Dr. Ron Fleck with his wife, Bobbi. Dr. Don Fletcher, Karen Fletcher, R.N., Sherry Weidemann, R.N. and Diana Anderson, R.N. completed the team. They addressed such topics as basic hygiene, first aid, CPR, fevers, intestinal problems & cures. This medical training was truly God-centered. 30 people were chosen by the Health District to attend. It was extremely successful, pertinent, and valuable according to the attendees and the Health District. At the close of the week Dr. Mendez, the director of the Health District said, “The keys to the city are yours.” They want us to return.
Our website should link to secondhopeministries.org. Please check it out and see the Guatemala project.
Lin Avendano provided CPR training for volunteer firemen at God’s Helping Hands clinic. They hope we can provide more training for them in the future.
We installed conduit and main service wire to our shop, which will allow us to delete the overhead temporary smaller wire. While the excavator was there we installed 12” diameter culverts on each side of the road in front of our shop. The old 4” PVC pipes often plugged with weeds and trash, causing the water to wash down the roadway instead of the ditch, taking the ballast with it each year. We also purchased 5 loads of ballast and placed it on the north side of the shop in hopes of building an attached vehicle storage building there in the future.
We sold the reservoir forms and that frees the space in #3 container. The extra space is much needed and we moved the container to the north side of the shop where it can be used as a wall for the shop extension.
The Stadeli drill is stored in the shop of God’s Helping Hands at Machaquila where we will provide a second (standby) well next season for the clinic. They are using our 70 sections of scaffolding to facilitate the building of their large multi-purpose center.
The blue Mitsubishi pickup is at Berny’s house in Guatemala City. This frees some space in our shop and he’ll use it occasionally to prevent battery and mold problems.
The red Mitsubishi pickup went off the road and rolled over causing extensive damage. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt! We’ll have Berny check prices for repair soon.
The Upper Columbia Conference is using 3 of our trucks, cement mixer, scaffold & tandem trailer to assist in the current church building and evangelism project.
WFL provided much Spanish literature, Bibles, and Bible studies this season. Our supplies of literature are gone now.
The project ended March 6.
Our 36 volunteers were: Pat Clark, Marilee Clark, Gary Bartholomew, Angie Bartholomew, Bob Perry, Dave Andreson, Dominic Parmentier, Bob Cole, Bucky Mowrey, Speedy Gonzales, Dave Rutledge, Monte Johnson, Ron Fleck, Bobbi Fleck, Don Fletcher, Karen Fletcher, Diana Anderson, Sherry Weidemann, Lin Avendano, Steve Barrickman, Berny Leonardo Jr., Dan Fuller, Laura Fuller, Lyn Hayden, Justin Hayden, Blake Hayden, Rebecca Miller, Lynn Bartholomew, Kathie Bartholomew, Jon Hansen, Chris Hansen, Rod Bartholomew, Tim Davis, Ruth Davis, Tim Rasmussen, and Jon Schoblocher.