On December 26th, a small group of us headed down to Guatemala. We had an amazing time. We took many donations for the children Hogar Miguel Magone, including medicines, underwear, clothes, instruments, and over 6000 toothbrushes!
Please feel free to peruse the photos of the trip here:
There's also a great video of the trip here, so you can see all the smiles of the children you help constantly:
While we were there, one of our main goals was to get the Well Project under way. Much research had taken place since our event. Since we were never expecting to reach the goal so quickly, we had to do our due diligence after the event as you all can imagine. We had several big drilling companies head out to the home to officially quote. We received quotes across the board, with the least expensive being $45,000 to the most expensive being $90,000. However, none of the companies were willing to guarantee water.
Before we ever considered the fund raising project, the home had begun to dig the well manually. A local well digger worked for several months digging by hand. He reached a depth of 125 meters and counting. The rock he encountered at that depth was wet all the way through. Even after bringing the rocks to the surface and laying them in the sun for hours, when broken, the interior of the rock was still soaked. However, as this was about 3 years ago, the home could no longer afford to pay the digger the US$1,000 that it was costing them a month, and the project came to a halt.
When we arrived, Estuardo and Karen, the founders of the home, wanted us to go and meet the well digger. And so, we went to meet him and to see one of the wells he had recently completed, only about a 4 minute drive away from the home.
Needless to say, we were very impressed with the work we saw. To see water flowing from this well was incredible and reassuring! This man has built many, many wells in the neighboring towns, and is positive that he is close to water in the hole he has already begun to dig at the home, and he is very willing to keep going.
After much deliberation with the group in attendance, and after Estuardo's valuable input, we've decided to let him keep trying for a certain amount of time. We have authorized that $3,000 of the $45,000 that was raised be released and sent to Guatemala. This will pay for the manual digging of the well for 3 months. After the 3 months we will analyze progress and decide on a permanent course of action. The rest of the funds raised for the well are still safely in the United States with the Non-Profit organization that has agreed to help us continuously.
Our hope, is that we won't have to spend anywhere near the $45,000 total raised, and that we will have money left over for other projects to make the home more self sufficient. We feel that this is our best shot.
Now, we ask, that we all pray that we find the water quickly.