Dirty Brook

Quebrada Sucia . . . is the name of a small, impoverished community in Guatemala. In Spanish, it literally means “dirty brook.”

Watch the video on Vimeo.

Located in a remote, arid region of Guatemala, the 250 residents living in this community continually struggle with low-water supplies. The dirty brook, which is a substantial distance away, is their only option for water, as few can afford buying the purified alternative. In the summer, the brook is nearly dry and stagnant, and in the winter months, it becomes a destination for discarded garbage and waste.

One villager named Don Renato told us that because of the distance to the brook, the children of Quebrada Sucia often shoulder the burden of fetching water for their families—a chore that takes several hours a day. The children regularly miss school to help carry this contaminated water, which is a perpetual cause of illness and malnutrition.

There wasn’t much hope for the next generation to escape the cycle of poverty caused by the dirty brook—until now.

Last Christmas, we asked you to spread the joy of the season by Changing the Present for impoverished communities around the globe. So many of you stepped up to the challenge—giving generously toward our goal of revolutionizing five villages with clean water. Quebrada Sucia is one of those villages.

After a long, tragic history of disease and lack of opportunity caused by dirty water, hope arrived in the most simple of forms—a sparkling pool of fresh, clean water pouring from the community’s new water well.

I was there last month, watching the people of Quebrada Sucia bask in their new gift. It was clearly indicated on the beaming faces of the old and young alike, as this gift means far more than you or I could ever imagine. Clean water symbolizes an improved economy, better health, the time to pursue educational opportunities, and a new future for their children.

Today, Quebrada Sucia is a very different place.

Even though the village still bears the name “dirty brook,” it is no longer an indication of the fate of its residents but is a continual reminder of how far they have come . . . because clean water changes everything.

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