A heart-wrenching plea: Water dries up in District 5110 grant village

Frances Dixon

“We are desperate,” cried village leader Alonso Velasquez to Rotarian Frances Dixon during a recent phone call. “We have no water, none. Can you help us?”

The State of Jefferson’s eRotary Club District Grant signature project, Let’s Leave No Girl Behind* supports literacy for children in Alonso’s community; Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala, their cooperating agency, assists at the project villages.

The remote isolated village had been sweltering in near-100-degree heat for weeks without a drop of rain during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. Rainwater collection tanks were all but dry and men, women, and children had scoured the mountainside hoping against hope to find a hidden spring, but with no luck. Unable to leave the village boundaries due to the government decreed lockdown, they had nowhere to turn.

Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala responded immediately. Within half an hour, their four-wheel-drive truck was dispatched, loaded with barrels to collect water at a river an hour away. After another two-hour drive over boulder-filled tracks, driver, vehicle, and water arrived at the stricken mountain village. Grateful families carrying every type of receptacle imaginable greeted the driver joyfully.

In remote Guatemala, where this Rotary Club’s project is taking place, drought and food scarcity are making it increasingly difficult to cope. Despite that, the onsite Rotarians, and their concerned fellow members in the United States, are committed to overcome pandemic-induced hurdles and see the “Let’s Leave No Girl Behind” project through successfully.

*Through the provision of books, educational games, and a literacy aide, Mam-speaking indigenous children are learning to read and write in Spanish, Guatemala’s national language. District Grant partners include Eugene-Delta, Coos Bay, Bandon, and Scott Valley Rotary Clubs.

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