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Communications Coordinator. Anna joined Amigos for Christ in 2020. She loves the mission of Amigos, and as part of the communications team, she seeks to follow Jesus’ perfect example of service so that His love and power become more visible. Being blessed as part of the Amigos Familia, Anna views it as a privilege to bring joy to Nicaraguan neighbors for the glory of her loving Savior.

With Influence Comes Responsibility

The strong breeze that is characteristic of the community of San Miguelito brings a glimpse of relief from the scorching Nicaragua heat. It also stirs up dirt and creates a menacing dust storm, showering a layer of dust on chairs, tables, and people in Teofilo Betanco Palma’s humble home. His wife hurries off to fill a bucket of water to use to wet the dirt and decrease the dust. Knowing that their family walks for 3 hours each day to retrieve that water makes her use it very sparingly.

Teofilo Betanco Palma is 68 years old, and he has lived in the community of San Miguelito for 45 years. His first house was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. He has since built a new house, where he currently lives with his wife of 44 years and 6 other family members. He smiles as he talks about his “greatest blessing,” his family. He and his wife have 9 children and 22 grandchildren.

Teofilo is very involved and respected in his community. He serves in a leadership role on the Community Water and Sanitation Committee, and he manages an organized and successful agriculture business. His family raises cows, horses, chickens, pigs, ducks, and turkeys. He also encourages economic development for his fellow community members by renting storage bins for crops. Community farmers harvest their crops in season when their value is lower, and then they store the crops in Teofilo’s bins until their supply decreases and value increases. Farmers can then sell their crops at a higher price because of their increased value.

Teofilo is aware of his influence, and he explains that he is honored to encourage other community members to participate in the Water for Chinandega project.

His encouragement certainly appears to be working, as San Miguelito has an incredible participation rate. To date, 94% of the community, 149 families, are participating in the Water for Chinandega project. Teofilo was one of the first community members to take the courageous step toward change by completing his payment for the water system. “The visits from the Amigos Community Advocates have given me a lot of confidence, and I trust this project will help our entire community.”

When asked about his current situation regarding water, Teofilo describes the grim realities. “We have never had clean water here. In the previous years, we would draw our water from the river, or from shallow wells around the community, but during the dry season this becomes very difficult. The community wells are usually dry at least 3-4 months each year.” He goes on to explain that even the water from the wells is not clean.
He smiles warmly when he shares his dreams for his family and generations to come. “We look forward to building a better life with this water, especially with our health. Right now, my family has to de-parasite every three months. For now, we have to put a little bit of bleach in the water we are going to use, but we know this is not good. This project gives us hope not only for water, but for much more. For health, school, farms, everything.”

"God is faithful. All of this is because of God, and all of this change is happening through Him. We are so thankful."

Teofilo

Water for Chinandega

Clean Water in Every Home

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