The Guatemala Well Project began as an endeavor of volunteers working in conjunction with the established charity; International Children’s Care. Its purpose was the drilling of water wells on the campus of the charities school and orphanage near Poptun in northeast Guatemala. The facilities there had long depended on water from the local river which became seriously contaminated over time. After successfully drilling on the school and orphanage grounds our work has expanded to the local villages there.
In the early days of our project we were encouraged and blessed by the generous gift to our efforts of a 22-W Bucyrus Erie cable drill mounted on a 1946 Military 6×6 vehicle. It was the gift of R. Stadeli and Sons of Silverton, Oregon. The rig was in good condition and just needed to get to Guatemala to begin its work of bringing water to the people of the northeast highlands.
Gary and Lynn Bartholomew were excited at the prospects that the rig presented and they made arrangements to get the rig to Spokane and then shipped to Guatemala. They borrowed a low boy and started on the trip to Oregon to get the rig. They had not gone far when they made a disturbing discovery. One of the axles on the low boy had a bad seal and was leaking gear oil at a pretty good clip. They tried to get it fixed and the fix lasted about 30 miles. There was nothing to do but keep on. They continued on their journey and kept checking the temperature of the axle with a probe.
They loaded the rig and started back with anxiety as a passenger. They could not keep the gear oil in the axle. As fast as they could pour it in, it ran out. There was nothing they could do to remedy the situation but pray. They stopped frequently to monitor the temperature of the troublesome axle to warn them of impending failure of bearings and gears.
As they drove home with the precious rig on the trailer, it became obvious that the lack of gear oil in the problem axle was no impediment. Despite being low on gear oil, that axle operated 20 degrees cooler than the axles that had plenty of oil. Prayer works better than 90 weight oil.
The rig was checked, loaded onto another truck for transport to Galveston, put aboard a ship, and then unloaded at Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. It is there today waiting for another season of drilling.
If you can help us with tools, time or money please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.