She’s back! Last month, Dee Fraser, Manager of Partnerships and Operations for Charity by Design, shared details about her upcoming mission trip to Guatemala with our partner, Living Water International. The goal of the trip was to drill a well which would bring clean, safe water to the community. She has since returned from her trip with a truly amazing story to share with our fans. We are both touched and humbled to be able to see first hand how our partnership is making a difference in the lives of so many in need of clean water.
I’ve always loved to blog and usually find it easy to put my daily experiences into words, but when asked to write about my recent mission trip to Guatemala, about the team I worked with, and the villagers that I now consider friends, it became difficult to find the right words to capture my experience. As I begin to share with you my story and the story of how one water well can change hundreds of lives, I want to first say ‘thank you’ to a few deserving people:
1. To the Living Water International team for giving us this opportunity. From a work perspective, it is great to see where the donations to our partners are going and to be able to capture it and share with supporters of Alex and Ani and Charity by Design. From a personal perspective, I can’t begin to explain how this has impacted me. I have been aware of the water crisis, but I think the part that I take with me most is the gratitude from the villagers and the smiles on the faces of the children and their sheer innocence.
2. To the Guatemala team – Jaime, Geovany, Nuisly, and Karlita. They not only guided us through this experience and made us feel comfortable, but also answered so many of our questions throughout the trip. To this day I still keep in touch with them.
3. To the Charity by Design team for trusting me to represent them and choosing me out of 200 people to be a part of this mission.
Before I begin my journey, please check out the below video from our videographer, David Bettencourt, that captured our trip and can help you understand the importance of our partnership. This makes me tear up each time I watch it, so be prepared and grab some tissues.
Even though the video speaks for itself, I’m excited to share with you my point of view through pictures!
For a little background, the team went to Champerico, Guatemala to install an additional well for the community. This well was being installed to complement the one that was in place at the school allowing the community to have more access to safe water instead of using the alternative when one well was not functional. The alternative was the river.
Look how happy the boys are and unbeknownst to them that this water is unsafe. Along with their families, they eat, drink, and bathe with this water. As I had mentioned above, this is the well that was previously installed at the school within the community. One thing I want to note is that the second well was installed at the church – the organization choses areas that benefit the community as a whole so no one can claim ‘rights’ over the well.
Here are some of the people from Champerico, Guatemala.
I was a part of the drilling team. We worked in 95O F degree weather and were able to drill down 210 feet into the ground. On the first day, we started the work by drilling a borehole and collected soil samples so we could explore the water aquifers. The days following, we Drilled the hole wider, inserted PVC casing, flushed the well, put in the gravel pack to start developing and cleaning the well.
The hygiene team met with the women and the children, delivered hygiene and Bible lessons, and built the relationship within community. They also had fun while learning and hosted arts and crafts with the children.
However, the hygiene team didn’t have all the fun, when we could, we were able have lots of laughs with the children ourselves.
This resulted in bringing all of us closer together, bonding over our love for community.
This is the final well…
This is the full team that was on the Living Water mission trip. We had representatives from NC, TX, NJ, RI, and Canada!
Because of the donations made by the Charity by Design team from the Living Water and Living Water for Women expandable wire bangles, we are able to bring smiles to their faces and provide them with clean, safe water.
Thank you to all of our fans and supporters who have purchased the Living Water and/or the Living Water for Women expandable wire bangles. This is what your purchase has been able to accomplish. You are helping provide safe water to numerous communities across the globe in dire need. You are the reason we are able to make a difference, because through your purchases of our Charity by Design collection, you are making a difference yourself.
Want to help Living Water International with their mission? 20% of proceeds received by Alex and Ani from selling the Living Water Bangle will support their work of demonstrating divine love by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water.