Safe Water and the Gift of Peace

Felis bathes her youngest granddaughter with safe water.

In rural northeastern Honduras, Felis Marina Lanza now wakes up each morning with one less thing to worry about. In her community of Barrio Bella Vista, the presence of safe water has brought peace to the families that call it home. A mother of three grown children and caretaker of two young grandchildren, Felis works hard to provide for her family by doing laundry for others in the community, earning a meager two dollars per day ­– just enough to sustain her growing family.

Felis drinks a cup of clean, safe water.

Felis and her two young granddaughters, Briyi and Yamaly.

Felis has lived in Barrio Bella Vista for thirty-two years. While she loves her community, for decades she has lived with the fear that her children and grandchildren would become seriously ill from the contaminated water they drink. She has experienced firsthand the sickness that comes from drinking the dirty water of the Río Siguapa River and has watched countless neighbors contract illnesses, forcing them to miss school or routinely seek treatment at the health clinic.

“I used to drink dirty water that made me sick and left bacteria in my stomach. The children also drank the water and suffered from illnesses continuously. We had no option as it was too expensive to purchase water from purifiers.”

– Felis Lanza

Safe water system in Barrio Bella Vista, Honduras.

Engineers work on a safe water system in Honduras.

In the midst of her fear, Felis had nowhere to turn, despite her deep desire to protect those she loves from the pain of waterborne illnesses. Then, Water Mission installed a solar-powered safe water treatment system in her community that serves all 1,250 residents. After building the water treatment house and installing the solar-powered Living Water Treatment System (LWTS), Water Mission Honduras staff trained the Safe Water Committee (SWC) in Barrio Bella Vista on proper maintenance, empowering them to manage the system successfully for years to come.

A young boy in Honduras washes his hands with safe water.

A community WASH promoter teaches students how to wash their hands.

Working alongside Water Mission staff, the SWC chose WASH promoters from the community to train their neighbors in healthy Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) practices. By conducting multiple sessions at the local school and going door-to-door, the WASH promoters taught the community members the truth about contaminated water, how to wash their hands with soap, and how to store their treated water in a safe manner. All of this was done to ensure the sustainability of the safe water project. Today the community has over $3,000 USD in the bank, has implemented a water distribution system to serve even more people, and is working hard to make sure their project is meeting the community’s needs.

Felis holds Briyi, drinking a glass of safe water.

With safe water close by, Felis is now free to focus on other things in life – like watching her grandchildren, three-year-old Briyi and nine-month-old Yamaly, grow up strong ­– without fear of the effects of dirty water. Thanks to safe water, Felis has peace, knowing that her family will not suffer from waterborne illnesses. Give the gift of peace to more families in Honduras and around the world today!

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