News

Julio’s Freedom to Dream

Nina Rumi, Peru

When Julio Zamora dreams of the future, he imagines a world of opportunity for his family and community. It’s a world where his three daughters can attend college and pursue careers, and where his rural village of Nina Rumi, Peru, can grow and become “more beautiful than it already is.”

One of Julio's three daughters
One of Julio’s three daughters

Thanks to friends like you, those dreams are one step closer to being realized.

Two years ago, Water Mission installed a safe water treatment solution for the 1,000 residents of Nina Rumi. We worked closely with Julio, the pastor of a local church, to support and engage the community as they learned about healthy hygiene behaviors and the ongoing maintenance of the treatment system.

Pastor Julio Zamora
Pastor Julio Zamora

“We are much better off,” Julio told us after the system was installed. “The people were drinking water from wells and from the river. Thanks to the provision of water, we can succeed, we can feel happy, and we feel that we can achieve [our goals]. Just as a village without electricity is held back, so is a village without water. But when there is a provision of water, the village is going to grow.”

Often, that growth starts with education. And today in Nina Rumi, children are healthy enough to attend school and have the free time to study. They are no longer held back by the time-consuming task of collecting water or forced to frequently miss school days due to waterborne illnesses.

Children in the classroom

“The treated water is much healthier for the children.”

— Julio Zamora

He’s passionate about serving Nina Rumi — and especially its children — because he almost didn’t survive his own childhood. More than 20 years ago, Julio suffered from a mysterious and devastating illness. When the hospital treatments failed, he went back home and simply waited to die.

But God had different plans. Julio heard about a visiting pastor preaching in the town plaza, and his school friends physically carried him to the event because he was too weak to walk.

When the pastor saw Julio, he stopped preaching to pray over him.

“God touched my life and healed me completely,” Julio remembered. “I [decided] to serve God because He did a miracle that no one else could have ever done. He gave me another opportunity at life.”

Pastor Julio and his wife Elmira
Pastor Julio and his wife Elmira

We don’t know what disease Julio might have had as a child, but we do know that his feelings of fear and desperation are all too common in the places where we work. That’s because waterborne illnesses, such as cholera and typhoid, remain a leading cause of death worldwide for children under five, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The good news is that we can change this reality together — one community at a time. Safe water can give children the chance to heal and it can empower villages like Julio’s to build a more hopeful future.

Children in the classroom drinking safe water

Today, families in Nina Rumi can dream about the future without fearing the devastation of waterborne disease. Like Julio, they can imagine the achievements and opportunities that their children might experience in the years to come.

Children at school receiving a safe water delivery

Give safe water today and your gift will be doubled for twice the impact in communities like Nina Rumi! This Easter, a generous partner has offered to match all gifts, up to $25,000, to help more families experience new life through safe and Living Water.

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