This year’s water project through Cross Catholic Outreach (CCO) is in Bolivia and is called Kalla Centro Water. This water project is through a local lay ministry that serves the indigenous communities living in the remote and arid highlands outside La Paz, Bolivia, which is the highest administrative capital in the world at 11,942 ft..
The project will construct 13 hand pump wells at individual homes, which will bring clean plentiful water to over 65 people. The profits from the blueberry sales this year will fund the entire cost of the water project which is only $8,400. This cost includes all construction costs – parts and labor – to drill the wells, install the pumps and test the water quality. The local ministry purchased a water well drill several years ago to minimize the cost of drilling.
The people in this region still live a traditional lifestyle – their homes are constructed out of mud bricks and straw and they rely on subsistence farming. The community that will receive the wells sits at an elevation of 13,275 ft, and average temperatures are cool (33-68 degrees Fahrenheit). The people speak a mixture of Spanish and Aymara. They are currently fetching water from a river, but it’s contaminated and dries up for portions of the year. When the river runs dry, families walk for over an hour to the next nearest source of water.
This is the Leduvina Choque Cusi family, who care for their granddaughter full-time. The grandmother said, “This area is almost dry. There is no water, so I am going to bring water from that hill behind the hill. But the evil of this water is it becomes salty, even my tea is salty. I carry water on my back loaded in aguayo, in all these drums I bring water on my back. Sometimes I carry 5 drums and sometimes 6 drums. I also carry 2 bales in my hands.”
This is the type of hole/spring families seek when the river runs dry: