Last March, our man in Guatemala, Berny Leonardo, was working in Barrial. This is one of the more remote villages that have a well from Water for Life International. The village is near the Belize border and is about 1.5 hours drive from our shop and headquarters. He was finishing a church building that was a private project of the board members of Water for Life.
As he was getting ready to leave to go to Poptun and get more materials, a woman came to him with an urgent plea. A poisonous snake had bit her daughter the previous evening. She asked Berny if he could look at her and take her with him to the Doctor. She said she had no money to pay for the trip or the doctor, but said she knew that Water for Life helped people.
Berny followed her to the shack she called home. The child was lying on a piece of foam on the dirt floor. She looked about 5 years old. Berny could see she was very sick. He looked at the place on her leg where the snake had bitten her. It was a small bite, but it was red and hot to the touch. Berny said he would help and gently carried her to the crew cab Mitsubishi pick up.
The roads were terrible and it was a jostling bumpy ride for the little girl lying on the back seat. Once near Poptun, Berny stopped at a house where a man who knew a lot about snakes and snakebites lived. Berny asked him to look at the little girl. He looked her over and asked about the snake that had bit her. The man said he believed it was Barba Amarilla. (Guatemalan name for the Fer-de-Lance) The little girl was listless and unable to talk. He told Berny that the girl must go to the hospital immediately and privately told Berny that the bite was bad and the girl might die.
Berny took the child to the hospital and the doctor looked at her and agreed that she needed to be admitted. Berny paid for her admission. She spent nearly one week there before she was released.
In late May, Berny was again in Barrial checking on the solar pump there. The woman found out he was there and brought the little girl to see him. The little girl was playing with her friends and did not want to stay and visit too long with this stranger, but her mother warmly thanked the kindness of the Water for Life people for saving her little girl.
Water for Life helps people. That is what she said. That is what we do. If you would be willing to help us help people, please contact us. There is much to be done. There is much you can do. We need your help.