Posted by: calloftheandes | July 11, 2013

Ecuadorian Beneficiaries of Clean Water System Now Training Haitians

HCJB Global archive photo (Wavelength, Autumn 1988, No. 45)

HCJB Global archive photo (Wavelength, Autumn 1988, No. 45)

Working on a water system in Columbe Chico, Ecuador a couple of decades ago, Bruce Rydbeck could not have imagined that one of the young Quichua boys kicking a ball around would transport the same vision for clean water to Haiti.

One of those little tikes was Edison Caiza. His father, Francisco, asked Rydbeck for further training in water systems and soon enough was under the tutelage and mentorship of a fellow Ecuadorian, César Cortez.

“I remember when Eddie (Edison) was a little boy following his father,” recalled Cortez, who headed an HCJB Global team from Ecuador that travelled to a northern Haiti community, La Bruyère. In February, the three Ecuadorians worked together with Haitians to construct the community’s clean water system. It is a three-year project that will provide clean water and sanitation for the 300 families there.

For Cortez, a turning point occurred during a tour of the work. Accompanied by officials, missionaries and aid workers, he watched as their skepticism turned to amazement when they witnessed impoverished Haitians — seemingly dependent on handouts of foreign aid — working without pay to build a water system providing high quality spring water for their community.

Authorities at one time had approached the Ecuadorians to convince them that La Bruyère was too poor of community for such a work, Cortez recounted later. The trio was told to quit and start elsewhere. “We said ‘No way; we started here; we finish here.’”

The single-focused resolve of the Ecuadorian trio spread to the Haitians and “the change in the community is huge,” Cortez said. Residents were also inspired as Edison Caiza showed photos of Ecuadorian Quichua people building a water system. “I’m amazed at how Edison and Francisco pray and give testimony of God’s help to the people,” related Cortez. “The community president is now so excited and won’t leave us alone until we complete the project.”??????

After phase one was completed last year, the community raised about $1,000 to cover reservoir land costs by charging two cents for each water jug filled at their public spigots. With eventual completion of the Le Bruyere project, the system will serve each home with a water meter (cost covered by the community) and a spigot mounted on a concrete pedestal. The community is currently connecting the remaining plumbing and will provide a metered spigot at each home. Plans are underway for each family to later install bucket flush toilets for adequate sanitation.

February marked the Caizas’ second trip to La Bruyère. Prior to leaving Ecuador, the evangelical church in Columbe Chico church sent them off with a special dedication service. Upon their return a month later, crowds of family and friends received them at the new Quito airport.

Twenty-five years ago when Rydbeck began applying his engineering skills to implement clean water projects in needy communities, he realized that the indigenous Quichua people had lots to teach him. He, in turn, has developed unique designs for rural water systems that incorporate the ingenuity of the indigenous people with training he has given his staff. Divine guidance, wisdom, and provision are essential.

For Rydbeck, the situation has come full circle. Francisco and Edison clearly demonstrate his vision of preparing people to carry out Jesus’ command to provide for thirsty people and to reach the nations. Not only are the indigenous Quichua sending out their own skilled technicians, prepared by the HCJB Global Community Development team; they are influencing other communities to take strides to improve their health with clean water.

“When we arrived, it we seemed like we’d be here for a century,” Cortez wrote of the many adversities the HCJB Global team faced in La Bruyère in February. “but now our time is short before we return home. The Caizas are proud of what they have done here.”

Edwin and Francisco Caiza in La Bruyere, Haiti

Edwin and Francisco Caiza in La Bruyere, Haiti

Caizas & Cortez with Haitians


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