This phrase, “aquicito no mas,” is common when trekking through the Andean countryside. I chuckle every time I hear it. At 12,000 ft, during a hike to a distant spring, I often need some time to rest and catch my breath. I will be assured that the spring is aquicito no mas, just a little farther. Thirty minutes later, when I need to catch my breath again, that phrase pops up, aquicito no mas. For people used to long walks and bus rides to do such basic things as get water, go to school or get health care, an hour-long trek to get to the spring a couple of hills in the distance isn’t that difficult. For an Oklahoman living close to sea level and accustomed to other modes of transportation, “aquicito no mas” is a reminder of the stark differences in our lives.
Un Poquito Mas
Un poquito mas, “just a little more”—As a QBL donor, you may share my feelings when I hear “aquicito no mas.” It seems like we are always asking for “just a little more.” With your help, QBL has completed 35 water projects over the years. You have been patient with our requests of a little more funding to finish that next project. With so much more to do, please take those deep breaths, look ahead, and let’s continue towards our goal together.
This is the next leg of our journey—A community leader recently asked us to provide a water system for the families in the village of Palcoma Baja. Our staff in Bolivia visited with the village families and analyzed the terrain. Our staff finally decided to work with two villages, a total of 48 families, to get them the water that they need.
The statistics from Palcoma Baja, not unusual for the villages we work with, provides a striking image of poverty. According to the 2001 census, 76% of the families live in poverty. Of those families, 40% lives in extreme poverty. Those numbers translate into houses with dirt floors, deciding how to get food when you don’t have enough regular income from your crops, and not knowing what to do when your child is sick and the local health post is closed. A QBL water project means that these children won’t get sick as often, provides a family with the hygiene education to respond to some of the more prevalent illnesses when they do occur, and provides families with more time to devote to other important activities. So, even though a water project won’t respond to all those needs, clean water is one of the first steps a family must take to get out of poverty.
Yes, our goal is aquicito no mas, and we will always need un poquito no mas. Will you continue to help us on this journey through your continued support of QBL?