Guest blog written by Mark A. Middleton, PWW volunteer
Water is life – and life on earth is linked to water. Our existence is dependent on water, or the lack of it, in many ways, and one could say that our whole civilization is built on the use of water. And while humans really began to understand the importance of clean water about 100 years ago, every year 3,575,000 people die from water-related diseases. This is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every hour. Most of these people are children.
As members of the Rotary, we are a people of action, and we understand the importance of giving back to communities in need. That’s why, from March 12-18, 2023, a group of us from District 6950 traveled to Danli, Honduras to install water filters, build latrines at a school, and most importantly, educate the local community about clean water and sanitation.
The experience was deeply rich and fulfilling. We worked with Pure Water for the World and local “Community Agents” to identify the areas of greatest need and collaborated with them to implement sustainable solutions that would have a lasting impact on the community.
One of our main projects was installing water filters in homes and a school. Many families in the area were struggling with access to clean water, which leads to waterborne illnesses and other health issues. By installing these filters, we were able to provide families with a reliable source of clean water that they could use for drinking, cooking, and other essential tasks.
The project on this trip that impacted some of us the most was working to build latrines at a local school. By building these latrines, we were able to provide a safe and hygienic environment for students to learn and grow. The entire community showed up and watched from outside the school as the teacher and students, along with the Community Agents, put on a short presentation to show their gratitude.
The impact of our work was truly incredible. We saw firsthand how these projects were improving the lives of families in the community. Parents were able to send their children to school knowing that they had access to safe and clean sanitation facilities. And families were able to enjoy the simple pleasure of drinking a glass of clean water without worrying about the health risks.
But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the experience was the relationships we built with the local community. We worked side by side with community leaders (one day even the Mayor of Maraita – pictured right), local volunteers, and families in the area to implement the project District 6950 worked hard to fund through a District and Global Grant last year, along with the Trinity Rotary Club. We shared stories, laughter, and tears as we worked together towards a common goal. And we left with a deep appreciation for the warmth and hospitality of the Honduran people.
Our experience in Danli, Honduras was incredible and one that hopefully every Rotarian has an opportunity to experience. We were able to make a tangible difference in the lives of families in the area, while also learning from and building relationships with the local community. We are proud to be members of Rotary and look forward to continuing our work to make a positive impact on the world by providing one of the most essential needs of every human…clean water.