With a smile of satisfaction, Veronica tells her children, “From now on, you will not suffer. This is all for you. Our effort and dedication made our dreams come true. This is your inheritance.”
I met Veronica Nuñez and her family when the construction of a new water system began in their community of Manzanillo. Veronica has lived in the rural, northwestern community since she was 8-years-old. Located very close to beautiful Pacific beaches, Manzanillo is easy to access and is a popular surfing spot. However, its proximity to the ocean created salty groundwater and a critical water situation for the community members.
Veronica is well aware of the importance of water as a life-giving element, knowing that it is fundamental to the existence of all living organisms on this planet. Her family understood this need for water every day when they felt thirsty, washed clothes, cooked, or cleaned their humble home. However, the only well that offered clean water was owned by a neighbor who charged Veronica $C40, or $1.10, a day for water. She often couldn’t afford the water, and she had to walk 2 hours a day to obtain clean water for her family.
“This problem not only affected my family, but everyone in the community – especially the women and children. As a woman, I understand how hard it is. This is why I am so actively engaged in the project,” Veronica commented. Even the local government recognized the dire problem and tried to send a biweekly water truck to provide relief. In the 6-month dry season, the wells dried up and the water truck was not enough. The government encouraged Manzanillo to see if they would be eligible for an Amigos for Christ clean water project.
When Veronica and the community heard about the opportunity with Amigos, their hearts filled with hope. They wanted to partner with Amigos for Christ and begin work right away, but Amigos was already completely full for the year with other community plans.
“We were so sad that we had to wait! We had heard from other Nicaraguans about how their quality of life had improved because of Amigos for Christ projects. Although we knew we had to wait, we still prayed that we could be an Amigos community in the future.”
God’s Plan Is Always Perfect
In less than a year, Manzanillo received news that they could possibly partner with Amigos for Christ much earlier than expected. Amigos was already working in a neighboring community called La Danta, but engineers were having trouble digging a well that was not contaminated by saltwater. Amigos for Christ proposed the idea of a unified system – a clean water well that could be dug in Manzanillo and shared by La Danta and Manzanillo.
An Opportunity Born Out of a Common Need
Veronica remembers, “Amigos Community Advocates called a huge meeting to explain how the project would go, us working with our neighbor community. We all had to agree to work TOGETHER for the benefit of all. Everyone involved was onboard with the idea. We immediately started planning, elected leaders from each community, and began the water system construction together.”
In May of 2021, the communities joined as one. No longer were they La Danta and Manzanillo, but La Danta-Manzanillo. A huge celebration shortly followed when Amigos engineers found and dug a clean well that would soon benefit everyone.
Today, 61 families in Manzanillo have clean water and modern bathrooms in their homes!
“This project has helped us so much. It is my children’s inheritance,” smiles Veronica.
Men and women from both communities have stepped up to lead their neighbors, participate in manual labor and construction, and learn techniques to maintain the system. They have created a better future for their children and generations to come.
Today, Veronica and her family, as well as other families in La Danta-Manzanillo, are transformed. United as one community with a goal, they dug for miles, worked side by side as neighbors, and in the process, became one family. Christ has been made visible in La Danta-Manzanillo, and they will forever be changed.