Stories of Change

Top and Bottom: Elias shows harvesting lands and seeds Bottom: Elias with Cesar from CWS partner, CASM

“What I sow in this land is how everyone will remember me.”

In the village of Pinabete, located in the rural area of Honduras, a shared cause brought the community together: the right to clean water. Leader Elías Pérez took on the challenge of engaging in political advocacy and not only succeeded in persuading the local government to grant permission to use a water spring they found near the community but also secured resources to build the necessary infrastructure and connect that source to everyone.

Don Elías, who lives with his wife and two daughters, is engaged in coffee harvesting and the cultivation of vegetables and grains. He serves as the president of the water board in Pinabete and the Association of Water Boards in the municipality of Azacualpa, and he also participates as a radio correspondent on the Santa Bárbara station. “It has all been like a mission for me. We are going to succeed in covering three communities,” he said.

In the course of his work, he partnered with the team from the Mennonite Social Action Commission (CASM) and became one of the participants in a project aimed at improving people’s living conditions through the provision of agricultural supplies and training. In addition to the supplies, Elías received support for the construction of a latrine for his family.

Through CASM, in coordination with local authorities and the financial support of Growing Hope Globally, they managed to allocate resources to purchase pipes, valves and cement. The project, which starts next year, will grant access to clean water for about 300 community members.

César Yovani Soriano, from the CASM team, shared, “For CASM, providing quality and safe water supply to families is a priority. Don Elías is an important connection because he is leading the local water boards; he helps us identify the needs of the communities and manage resources from the local government.”

The program also provides the most vulnerable families with latrines. In some cases, families who had a latrine for over 20 years were provided with support to upgrade or repair it.

Through collaborative efforts and the assistance of CASM, Pinabete has transitioned from a community struggling for water access to one empowered with the essential resources for a better life.

Don Elías concluded by saying, “We have to sow because what I sow in this land is how everyone will remember me. That is my wish, to leave well-planted traces.”

We are thankful to the Mennonite Social Action Commission (CASM) for their leadership of this program and the generosity of Growing Hope Globally for their support of this work.

You can learn more about our work in Latin America and the Caribbean here.