In November 2010 I went to Barrio Blanco to see how I might help the people.
Everyone welcomed me into their homes. When I asked "how might I help you?" the response was...with the flooding.
Rain is intense here. The barrio is built on and surrounded by a lagoon. The water table is 8" below the surface normally,
but when it rains this becomes saturated and flooding occurs.
Because there were only 6 "holes in the ground" septic systems in the village, when it rains, water mixed with sewage
floods inside all homes and everywhere almost two feet carrying bacteria and parasites with it.
When I introduced a visiting donor couple to 64 year old Maria Gil, she came to the door wearing boots. Because they were not high enough, she had cinderblocks strewn inside her home to walk on. Inside her home was filled with water.
It was hard to see this poverty close up. Almost all homes were built with discarded scraps of rusted materials or cardboard. Half the people lived in 8' by 10' shacks with dirt floors; no kitchens or bathrooms. Squalor. People shouldn't have to live like this, yet for the past 23 years, they have. Years ago baby Karoly was in my arms. Today at 19 Karoly has her own baby. Let's join to bring her daughter, and the rest of Barrio Blanco's children a better future.