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You Gave Clean Water and Fresh Food to a Boy in Need

Field Report by David Burbach

MEXICO – Not far from Guadalajara lies Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and green hills, the lake’s beauty attracts tourists, vacationers and retirees from nearby cities and around the world. Along the lakeshore, numerous towns and villages rely on the lake for fish and for water.

Polluted Water From Lake Chapala And The Need For Clean Water Solutions

But Lake Chapala’s scenic views hide a deadly secret—heavy metals. Flowing down the Lerma River from numerous industrial operations, the heavy metals, along with other toxic substances, empty into the lake, making its polluted water unsafe to drink and its fish unsafe to eat.

For the poor living in communities along the lake, the water’s toxicity has had devastating consequences, especially for children and the need for new clean water solutions has never been more critical. OB staff receive many reports of birth defects, kidney disease, and stymied mental development among residents. But there are other issues here too. Malnutrition and lack of healthy food create constant problems for adults and children alike. One of the roots of chronic malnutrition is the polluted lake water, which makes growing safe food difficult in the area.

Mexican school children growing nutritious vegetables for hunger relief.

Your Support Helps Provide Clean Water Solutions

With all they faced, the poor villages on the lake needed help. That’s when YOU sent Operation Blessing. Thanks to your support, teams from OB Mexico began working to provide clean water solutions and improve nutrition along the lake. These efforts brought Operation Blessing staff to the El Chalpicote elementary school where we met seven-year-old Carlos.

Clean Water Solution From A Rainwater Catchment System

Carlos is a rambunctious and fun-loving little boy, who enjoys chasing his friends around the school during recess. He, like the other children at the school, lives close to Lake Chapala and has had limited access to healthy food and clean water. Thanks to the kind and compassionate support of Operation Blessing friends like you, OB Mexico staff installed a rainwater catchment system at El Chalpicote, so that Carlos and his friends can have clean water to drink.

Mexican school children have healthy vegetables and clean water thanks to OB friends.

Not only that, OB partners built an organic garden at Carlos’ school. You provided nutrition and gardening classes so that Carlos and his classmates can learn how to grow nutritious food and eat a well-balanced diet. At first Carlos seemed a bit wary of vegetables, instead preferring potato chips as his snack of choice. However, after getting to participate in the classes and in planting the veggies, Carlos became excited to try them all. When harvest time came, Carlos was the first to try the lettuce, and he loved it!

It’s only because of the faithful and generous support of Operation Blessing partners like you that we can bring life-changing clean water and hunger relief to people like Carlos. Thank you for showing God’s love to the poor in Mexico, the U.S., and around the globe!

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