Blair County volunteers help drill, repair wells

Group struck clean water on first day

Members of Sunrise Rotary and Overflow Church in Altoona drilled a well in Acajulta, El Salvador, and repaired a second well to bring clean water to people living there.

About 40 people in a poor village of Acajulta will benefit from the new well and many more will use water from the other, said Clay Gingrich, who took the weeklong mission trip through Sunrise Rotary.

Six Blair County residents including Gingrich arrived for work in the Central America country Aug. 19 and returned to Altoona on Aug. 25.

Gingrich said one in 10 children in that village don’t survive because their kidneys can’t process water from the pesticide-polluted creek that had served as the village’s only water source.

However, on the first day of their drilling, the team from Sunrise Rotary and Overflow Church struck a source of groundwater that will provide clean water. And if the well runs dry, it can be replenished by rain.

“The things we take for granted every day, they never had the chance to experience,” Gingrich said, noting the importance of clean water.

Derek Miller and Jessica Sprouse, also of the Sunrise Rotary Club, traveled to Acajulta as well as Overflow Church members Elizabeth Ebling, Rebekah Mueller and Caleb MacCallum.

The trip was coordinated through Living Water International.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.