Project Location: Santa Cruz Island in The Galapagos

Date: October 1, 2016

History and Scope of Problem:

When we think of The Galapagos, we picture pristine beaches and wildlife, flora and fauna endemic to the various islands.

Three of the islands are populated, the largest being Santa Cruz with 18,000 residents. Not everyone works in the lucrative tourist trade. The local inhabitants are hard working people trying to survive in the rural highlands, and yet they have limited access to clean water.

In search of potable water

Finding a sustainable water supply has been problematic on the islands since the early settlers. Except for one short rainy season very little rain falls, and even then it’s irregular and drought conditions prevail. During the rainy season rainwater is captured, but it is not safe to drink. Locals purchase large blue containers that cost $11, and refill them with drinkable water for $2. But even these bottles are not always safe, as the containers are not sanitized and can still hold bacteria. For the poor farmers in the highlands, this is costly and they have to drive into town regularly to fill up. The Sawyer filters that Waves For Water and The Waterbearers distribute provide a sustainable solution. Each $50 filter serves 100 people for up to 10 years.

Clean Water! A Benefit to the Community

The Waterbearers Co-Founder Jane Brinton with Erin Toppenberg and daughter Hudsyn, teamed up with Waves For Water Executive Director Christian Troy, for a water assessment and filter distribution trip.

Guayabillo is in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to 20 families. There are two schools on the island and 86 children in this community go to school in Santa Rosa. We provided filter assembly training and maintenance to the headmaster Miguel, who will install a clean water system in each classroom. Here the children will have access to clean water, and can take water home to their families. With just one filter demonstration, 14 Filters were distributed and 1,400 men, women and children will have access to safe drinking water.

History of the Galapagos Islands

The islands were discovered in 1535 by accident, when the bishop of Panama sailed to Peru to settle a dispute after the conquest of the Incas and drifted off course. But during the 16th century, it was buccaneers, whalers and a penal colony, that populated the islands. Charles Darwin, the young naturalist and geologist arrived in 1835 on board HMS Beagle, and thus began his scientific exploration on the Theory of Evolution.

Returning to Galapagos

We will return to The Galapagos Islands in 2017 with more filters for more communities, and we encourage you to join us as we deliver our clean water systems and provide training. Our custom journeys offers a unique experience to magical places, and provides an opportunity to discover a deeper understanding of who you are in the world. Each conscious travel experience is designed to capture and enhance your total involvement of what it means to be a Waterbearer. If you’d like to know more contact us info@thewaterbearers.org.

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