At Business Connect, stories are being constantly shared through emails, WhatsApp messages, and Facebook posts. As the person behind the scenes, I try my best to capture the stories and make each voice heard on our platforms. I love these stories of the Business Connect team’s impact, but I desired to experience them firsthand and have a deeper level of understanding.
When my sister decided to study abroad in Guatemala, I knew this was my chance to see her and experience a new country. I connected with our local Business Connect partners and planned to visit a few families that had received our water filters.
A short time later, I found myself in a pick up truck driving down a winding Guatemalan road and passing a few volcanoes. Such a significant contrast to my life in urban America. I began asking questions about the water filters to my guide and connection at Mil Casas, a non-profit that works to build houses for those in need in rural Guatemala. They have a lofty goal of building 1,000 houses and have already completed half of that number. With each new home built, the family also receives a Village Water Filter.
We pulled up to the first house and ducked through a small passageway to reach the door where our friend asked if we could step into their home and see their water filter. They warmly welcomed us in and we smiled as we passed the curious children hiding behind their mother as she wove a beautiful and colorful cloth.
The father led us into the kitchen where I asked questions and he shared about the impact of the VF100. He explained that with the current rainy season, heavy rains had caused mudslides that contaminated the village’s water supply. Yet even when the pipes were feeding dirty water into their homes, they were able to provide clean water for their family. They beamed as they spoke of the clean water that they had right in their own home.
In another village, we visited two more homes that Mil Casas had built. At the first house, a mother welcomed us inside. Her children crowded around as she spoke of how they were living healthier lives because of the water filter. She said she was so happy with the water filter and agreed to pose for a photo. Yet kids will be kids and they kept making silly faces for my camera! We then went to visit the neighbors and ask about their filter. Coming into the courtyard, I saw a small but sturdy house. We were invited inside and the family smiled as they gestured towards the Village Water Filter. They said that they were happy to have a source of clean water in their home that helped them avoid illness. I then asked what they would change about the filter and they laughed saying they just wanted a larger bucket to go with it.
These little moments filled me with so much joy. Now these stories might just sound like any other story of a Village Water Filter, but to me these stories are different. These are people whom I have personally met. They are real.They make me smile as I write every post, share every story and edit every photo even when I am many miles away.