Every year the volunteers who arrive first at our facilities in Guatemala have a big job to do. All the apartments must be cleaned and the geckos, lizards and the occasional scorpion must be removed. There are screens on the windows, but the creatures come through any small crack. There is dust everywhere. The apartments must be made ready to receive the volunteers. The bedding is washed and distributed. The cabinets are cleaned and made suitable for storage of personal items. Floors swept and mopped.
In the shop each year, the initial start up of the vehicles involves checking
fluids, batteries, changing oil & filters, airing or repairing tires
and fixing the obvious problems we may see. We have more than 10 vehicles on the road in Guatemala and getting them all up and running after sitting still for 8 months in the humidity and heat requires a lot of attention.
For example: the emergency brake on one of the pickups was seized in the sheath and required nearly two days to get it operating freely. After using one of the vehicles for awhile this year a carrier bearing on the driveline went bad and the replacement from Ford in the States was too small in diameter. A vacuum pump seized (which impacts the whole array of things operated by the serpentine belt), a fender nearly fell off, and a starter began
dragging too slowly to start the diesel engine. The well drill rigs have rusty brake drums on the cable reels and these must be serviced. There are also several engines on the rigs and welders which we have to get up and running.
Trying to find replacement items in Guatemala for some of the parts is impossible, so some of these items are sent from the USA with the next volunteers coming to Guatemala.
The drillers are anxious to get drilling in the remote villages. The
villages we’ve chosen, along with the mayor’s input, are typical
villages where the pigs run free and most of the children are bare butt most of the time. Most of the folks in these villages speak the Quiche’ dialect. It is a native language that is not like Spanish and people fluent in Spanish cannot understand much of what is said. We have some people who can speak it and often there are people in the village who can speak in Spanish, so we get by. There is no grid power in most of these villages.
WFL and our drillers prefer working in remote villages where the need is obvious rather than a large municipality with concrete streets. Please come and help us. There are lives you can change, not counting your own.