Salva Vida means “lifesaver” in Spanish. It also happens to be the name of the most common beer in Honduras. It was interesting, because everywhere I traveled in Honduras…Salva Vida was available, however in all those places, if I had tried to drink the tap water I would have become sick. It seems like they should have called their bottled water Salva Vida, but I guess clean beer made it to Honduras before clean water.
A couple weeks ago I returned from Honduras where a small team of volunteers helped a hospital in Olanchito install a filtration system so that they could have access to clean water. They have a maternity ward there, and I just kept thinking how scared I would be if Melissa was going to have a baby AND she might get sick from the water while at the hospital. Maybe that is why the infant mortality rates in Honduras are over 5 times greater than here in the US. By the time we left, the hospital could use and drink the water without the fear of sickness/death, and that was a pretty cool feeling.
One thing that surprised me about the job was that it was not at all complicated or difficult. It makes sense though once I think about it. A very basic need should have a relatively basic solution. When I think of the world “water crisis” it seems like an insurmountable problem (which is actually not far from the truth), but for a very different reason than I had initially assumed. I guess I was thinking that facing a big problem like the clean water crisis meant it was going to be technically challenging, but that is really not the case here. We know how to make clean water, it will just cost us something to get it where it needs to go. The main challenge lies in getting the people who know how to do it to pay attention to people who don’t, and then commit the resources to get it done. We have the ability and the resources, all we lack currently is the will. It’s crazy to think about all the simple necessities we take for granted and how quickly we are able to forget about those who don’t have them. I am really glad I was privileged to be a part of addressing this issue (even in a small way), and I really hope that God is not done using me in this capacity!
Below are a couple pictures I took on the trip. The top one is from the day we arrived. It was 106 degrees and humid, and that was in March! The bottom one is a picture of the wiring job for the existing pump system. There was no “safety code” so they just cut some wires, twisted them together, and wrapped it up in a bunch of tape. Those red wires just hanging out at the top are 480 volts…enough to throw you across a room and kill you fyi. I also have a cool video I want to share but I’m still searching for it so I’ll put that up once I find it.