The WaterStep team sat in Iglesia Celebracion on an early Friday morning in Tiribi, Costa Rica. The team arrived, prepared to set up the system that would provide up to 10,000 gallons of safe water a day
Pastor Miguel welcomed the group with a brief sermon and prayer. He informed them that Tiribi is located in the county ranked last out of all 81 counties in Costa Rica for development, meaning poverty, drugs and prostitution are common in the area.
The pastor began his ministry to be a church for the unchurched. “Churches are popular here, but these people are not welcome in most churches,” he said.
Pastor Miguel led the team down a nearby road to see more of the area that would be affected by a safe water system in the church. As they walked, the pastor was met by warm greetings from most neighbors and a big hug from a young girl.
Most homes were built from scrap materials and garbage lined the streets. However, what seemed like a hopeless image from the outside masked well-kept kitchens, straight and clean living areas, and a people who took pride in their homes and lives.
98 year old Claudia greeted the team outside of her home, which shares a wall with her sister and a young girl that they care for, who suffers from seizures. The team took turns gathering around to pray for the family and talk more with them.
Back at the church, the team got to work on their project that would carry over to the next day, installing the M-100 Chlorine Generator.
Pastor Miguel stepped away from the group while they began working to explain more about the culture and water issues in the area. “They have a local waterline, but the government cuts off water and they must use dirty river water and boil it to drink it,” he explained. “Many children and elderly still get sick with diarrhea, stomach ache, and viruses.”
The effects from the lack of water spill over into all areas of life. He explained that sickness often keeps children out of school, as a stomach virus can force a child to stay in bed for up to a week. The WaterStep system will allow children and families to get safe, drinkable water from the church, preventing illness.
On Day Two of the installation, the WaterStep team arrived bright and early, working all day to set up the system and teach the pastor about its maintenance. By evening, the mission was accomplished.
Access to safe water is only one issue that needs to be addressed in many of the communities where Waterstep works, but it is a critical foundation for improvement. To learn more about safe water solutions and how to get involved, check out our Why Water page.