185 de las 341 comunidades rurales del departamento de Chinandega no tienen acceso a agua potable. El Equipo de Estrategia y Agua para Chinandega está comprometido a cambiar esta realidad para que las familias puedan vivir vidas saludables y llenas de propósito.
Gratitude Coordinator. Sabrina has been a part of the Amigos story since it began, and she is truly grateful that she is able to tell the story of impact to our family with photographs, videos, stories, and art. Though trained as a nurse, she believes her work now is the same- she can bring healing and hope into people’s lives by allowing them to see their involvement in Amigos as God does – with deep joy that they are bringing about the Kingdom here and now for families in Nicaragua.

Walter, Water, the What and the Why

Walter Alexander Lopez Dolmus started working at Amigos for Christ when he was 17 years old. As the warehouse boy, Walter ensured that all of the Amigos supplies were checked out and returned as needed each day. Shovels, pickaxes and cement were carefully tallied and marked. Walter has come a long way since his days in the warehouse. As the years passed, he earned a degree in Community Social Development. He has worked on various teams within Amigos, making his way up the ranks. Walter currently works on the Strategy and Innovation Team, and he, along with his team, are playing a huge role in reaching Amigos’ newest dream: Water for Chinandega.

So what is it Water for Chinandega? Amigos has set a goal to supply running water and a modern bathroom for every family, in every community, in the department of Chinandega. We believe that this is a basic human right.

Yes, you read that right.

Every Single Community. 

Every Single Family.

To date, Walter and his team have visited 273 of the 310 communities that do not have running water in the Department of Chinandega. For comparison, in Nicaragua, a “department” is similar to a “state” in the United States, and “communities” are comparable to “towns.” With this context, you can understand just how lofty and exciting this goal truly is. Walter and his teams’ visits include communities all over the Department of Chinandega: Chichigalpa, Cinco Pinos, El Realejo, Puerto Morazan, San Francisco, San Pedro, Santo Tomás, Somotillo, Villa Nueva and El Viejo. Eleven large municipalities.

As a definition of an understatement, we will state the obvious – this is a vast undertaking, but one that will dramatically alter the fabric of this area. The Amigos Plan 7 is still the best model, and we are committed to implementing this in every possible community. However, the reality is that what people need NOW, is water and basic sanitation. Water for Chinandega is a smaller partnership with communities that facilitates faster results so that families do not have to wait.

So why this and why now? 

When we visited these 273 communities, not a single house had a modern bathroom, and most homes had no accessible water. Some had a small water system that only provided water for 1 hour per day or every 2-3 days! Although this is an ambitious plan for Amigos, there is a huge need for access to clean water here. When we began house visits, were were interested in assessing the severity of the situation, but we were shocked with what we found."

When asked Walter what is the one thing he wished people knew about this project in the USA, his answer was elegant:

“It is a hard reality that even in the year 2020, there is still no infrastructure in these communities. They have no access to clean water or a way to be clean. It is just lamentable, and I hope that people in the USA know that though this is an expensive and large endeavor, we HAVE to do something. For me, it is a call to love the right way.”

When asked what is the one thing he wished people knew about this project here in his own country, he was just as honest. “We can ALL do something. Sometimes we have limited thinking- we believe we don’t have the resources to change things. But we can help in small ways that, added together, turn into big ways. We can dig with communities and use our talents here to change things. This is what I am doing. I call to action others.”

 

“I love my job, especially getting to know families, and seeing the spark in them … when they realize that they can be a partner in this process and change their lives.”

If you didn’t know this, big dreams require big doses of hope and people who are dedicated to changing their worlds. People like Walter in Amigos dream big. God loves it when we dream big. He loves to show us what He can do and what WE can do when we jump in and join Him on this crazy ride of life.

So, our dream is water for all. A dignified bathroom for all.
We can’t wait to see how God surprises us and all of Chinandega in the next 10 years.

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