It takes a community: how one man got support from his neighbors to save its water supply.

Baby steps matter.

"Most people here in Nicaragua probably live on an average of about $3 a day. Water, food, work, everything is an issue for people that live outside the city."

The man who said that is called Rafael Alvarado, and he is also from Nicaragua. His hometown is Matagalpa, and a great deal of his work has focused in the neighborhoods in that region.

That's Rafael!

As Rafael pointed out, poverty is a pretty big issue in Nicaragua. Part of that poverty means that the inhabitants of Matagalpa don't have the resources to fix their wells when they're broken.

Interesting fact: "Broken well" is not what you'd think it means! It doesn't mean that the well is actually cracked in half. According to Rafael:

"To us, the definition of a broken well is a well that is contaminated but it has some system that is being used."

Yikes. So that means that while the well might actually physically FUNCTION — e.g. you can haul up water from a hole in the ground — the water that comes out of it isn't fit for drinking.

Matagalpa isn't the only place in Nicaragua where this is the situation. As Rafael points out:

"There are approximately 70,000 broken wells in Nicaragua right now."

And he and his team are now fixing just Matagalpa's wells. It's going to be a long journey — but the baby steps that Rafael and friends take are going to do wonders for Matagalpa.

Stella Artois

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