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Refreshing Clean Water Brings Hope and Happiness to Peru

Field Report by Kevyn Barnes

PERU – For a mother named Evangelina from the small community of Pistuni in Peru, living with little or no access to clean water was a constant struggle. Home to fewer than 100 people, Pistuni lies over three hours away from the nearest city. Many residents make a living here by raising and selling cattle.  


Water is vital to the residents’ basic survival and to their continued livelihoods. They need it for drinking, for their livestock, for hygiene, and for washing dishes. However, Pistuni’s remote location means families here have limited access to water. For residents like Evangelina and her family, the journey to gather and bring back the water from distant mountain springs for their everyday needs was a hard one. And it often ended in disappointment.  

No Access To Clean Water

“Here we have no water. We have to fetch water… a donkey carries it. And sometimes the donkey drags the containers and then they break, and we run out of water,” Evangelina explained to Operation Blessing staff. “We’ve already lived more than 24 years without water.”  


During certain months, rainwater accumulates and forms a pool closer to home. This also provides a water source for the villagers. But this water is exposed to the elements and pollution for long periods, which presents a potential risk for Evangelina and her family.   

Her 7-year-olddaughter, Nely, described the water. “It’s dirty and smells. The color’s like cocoa.” Sadly, the possible health complications from drinking the poor-quality water became all too real when Nely became sick with a stomach infection—a common occurrence in Pistuni.

“I had to take her … carrying her on my back,”Evangelina recalled the day she sought treatment for her daughter. “I was very worried and thought that maybe my daughter would die.” 


Making matters worse, residents also had no access to proper bathrooms, which made waste management another issue that put the villagers’ health at risk. But thanks to the generosity of Operation Blessing donors, who worked together through a crowd-funding endeavor, help was on the way.  

Hope Of Clean Water On The Horizon

More than 90 people donated to bring clean water to this struggling community! Our team soon arrived with a project that would benefit all the families of Pistuni, including Evangelina’s. Because of the kindness of friends like you, a new sanitation system was built. And it even included bathrooms.  


Using a series of pipes, the staff worked to connect the community with a water source nearly two miles away. The water is gathered in a reservoir, where it is treated and chlorinated. Through this system, safe and clean drinking water reaches the 17 homes in Pistuni.  

Additionally, Pistuni residents participated in workshops on the maintenance of the bathroom and water systems. They learned the importance of handwashing and personal hygiene. Now, families know how to take care of themselves and their new systems.  


Thank you for providing water to this struggling community. Now that they’re refreshed with a sustainable source of clean water, Evangelina and the entire village have a new sense of joy.  

“Now I’m happy, happy, happy because I have water! I’m no longer sad.”  


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