July 2010 - LHPC's mission team completed its first installation of a filtration system to provide clean drinking water in the San Agustin community in Guatemala July 21-26. The trip was indeed a success!
The system was installed in a secured room constructed by LHPC's Guatemalan partners at a local church, Iglesia Monte de Santedad. It is equipped with two 300 gallon water tanks, and is capable of producing 300 gallons of safe drinking water in a period of one and a half hours. The water will be distributed in five gallon plastic containers, and is expected to supply the needs of a community of around three hundred. The local operators received training in operation and maintenance of the system, and members of the local church were trained to provide health and hygiene instruction. LHPC will continue to provide technical support and advice.
Members of the LHPC team left feeling that the system was in good hands, would be put to good use, and grateful for the new friendships and experiences they had acquired. Although three of the four members of our LHPC team had visited San Agustin Acasaguastlan in April of this year, this trip was a different experience. Before, most of of the team had no real idea of what to expect from the people in this small church community (nor they from the LHPC team). This time the teams were working shoulder to shoulder in a joint endeavor to complete the installation and training within the time available. This time members of the teams began to develop real relationships, in spite of the language barrier. This time the teams had become real partners.
Potential new sites near this community are being reviewed for additional clean water installations, so that LHPC may expand the reach of our Clean Water Mission Project.
March 2010 - LHPC's clean water "team" (Ralph, George and Bob) completed their survey trip to San Agustin March 8-11. The team met with Pastor Rumaldo Lopez, and the local O.P. and found it to be an enormously rewarding experience.
Due to the assistance and careful planning of the local coordinator, Miriam, and her daughter Ariana, the trip was completed on schedule and without any significant incident. The members of Iglesia Monte de Santidad were anxious to assume ownership of the project, and had already completed a room at the church to house and secure the system equipment.
The partnership covenant between LHPC and the local O.P. was successfully completed, and plans were laid for installation of the system in July of this year
December 2009 - LHPC established contact with El Norte Presbyteria, in which the church at San Agustin was located, and with Miriam Mazariegos, the local coordinator for Living Waters in Guatemala. Planning began for LHPC's first trip to Guatemala in March.
The purpose of the March "survey trip" was:
- To meet and worship with the local church partner (the “Operating Partner”);
- To sample and test water from the site;
- To negotiate and enter into a covenant with the Operating Partner (the “O.P.”) for
installation of a system;
- To schedule and begin making plans for installation of the system.
November 2009 - Ralph traveled to Guatemala with another LWW clean water Partner for the installation of a clean water system at nearby San Jose, in Guatemala. This trip provided valuable educational and logistics experience for our own upcoming project.
December 2009 - LHPC entered into a non-binding partnership "covenant" with Living Waters for the World ("LWW") to participate in a clean water project as an "Initiating Partner".
This committed LHPC to:
- An initial "survey trip" to the site of the project
- A second trip to the site to help install the system and provide health and
- Two annual "follow up" trips to the site to insure that the system remains
functional and operating properly.
L.H.P.C. selected a local church in the small community of San Agustin Acasaguatlan, Guatemala, as the site of its project. A water issues survey detailing the particular health issues and need for the system had already been completed by the local church (Iglesia Monte de Santidad).
July 2009 - LHPCers Jeff Higgins, Ralph Gifford, George Holden and Bob Thornton attended Clean Water University in Oxford Mississippi. Jeff and Ralph received training in the installation, maintenance and operation phase of the project. George received information on the educational and training aspects of the program. Bob received training in field water testing, and administration of the program.