Dan Fuller and his wife Laura are board members and faithful volunteers from Spokane. Together they form the backbone of our dental health program in the villages. This is the fourth year they have come to Guatemala and the third year doing dental work. We have a portable dental chair that they use and a small generator for electricity for lights. They work in villages where we are drilling wells and in villages where we have wells.
On Feb 24, toward the end of their visit this year, they made a second trip to La Compuerta. This village is about 30 km away from our shop. The last 20 km of the trip is a bone-jarring ride, up and down steep hills on a road which can be described as being like an old river bed. It is truly a nasty trip through dry hills past corn and bean fields. The trip is best made in one of our little Mitsubishi crew-cab trucks, perhaps because they are smaller and there is less space to be thrown around inside, but it is still a tough trip.
La Compuerta is a village on the top of some of these dry hills. There are about 700 people who live there. We have made two attempts to put a well in there, but both have been unsuccessful. I visited in one of the villages and learned the only water was in a pond where the cattle drank too. Dan and Laura went back to finish the dental clinic work they had done earlier.
As they worked, Dan was interrupted by a woman who had a child in her arms. The little girl was about 2 and a half. She had a fever and was listless. She was not unconscious, but unable to walk or do much more than hold up her hand. It seemed very possible that the little girl was dying.
Dan and Laura decided to give her ½ a Tylenol and see if she got any better. Dan remembered that dehydration can cause a fever and gave her a full glass of water with the pill. She drank the 12 oz readily. They gave her another glass. The effect was dramatic. Within 20 minutes of drinking the water she was walking around talking and laughing. Her fever was gone and she was entirely back to normal. She went from a very sick little girl to healthy because of drink of clean water.
Later they had a chance to talk to a lady who is a teacher in La Compuerta. They spoke about the need for drinking water. The teacher said yes, she knows and tries to encourage the people to drink, but when she tells them to drink, the people say back to her, “If we drink the water we will die.”
You have the power to help us do something for these people, please help.