On Hold Company recently partnered with Living Water International to drill a well for a village in Guatemala, providing clean water for some 400 men, women and children.
Bryant Wilson, On-Hold Company CEO, and Tommy Granville, On Hold Company master sound engineer, traveled to Guatemala and served on the team that drilled the 170-foot well. The team based in Champerica and drove 90 minutes each day to reach the small farming village of San Roque, where the majority of the community works in sugar cane fields 12 hours a day for six dollars a day.
“Before we came, San Roque got all their water for cooking and cleaning from a 25-foot hand-dug well,” said Wilson. “Because the well was so shallow, the water was contaminated so the village had a lot of sickness.”
On Hold Company’s Wilson and Granville were part of a team of 12 that spent the week in San Roque. Four team members taught hygiene classes to students in the local school. The other eight members were divided into two drilling teams of four each, rotating every 30-45 minutes to provide rest breaks. The teams drilled 12 hours per day and rotated drilling positions which included: controlling the drill; picking up pipes and connecting them; and logging progress on the clipboard.
“We got to participate in every part of the well drilling process which was a great experience,” said Bryant.
From the moment the team installed the wellhead and the well began pumping clean water, villagers showed up with buckets in hand. The new well operates with a hand pump and produces 35 gallons a minute.
Living Water International drills wells in the schoolyard as it is often a community gathering place and tends to be most central to all of the village homes. “It’s also the easiest way to change the thinking of a generation,” said Bryant. “Kids will learn about the well and benefits of drinking clean water. They will go to that well every single day and drink from it.”
Once the well was completed, there was a village-wide dedication service. Some 250-300 members of the village attended the dedication.
“It’s not an understatement to say that this is probably the biggest thing that’s happened in this village in decades,” said Bryant. “Even the mayor from the largest nearby city Champerico sent people to the dedication service.”
“It was a wonderful feeling,” continued Bryant. “On Hold Company has contributed financially before to other water wells. But in this instance, I have no words to describe what it felt like to stand there with the leader of the village who said, “Our village is so grateful for what you’ve done. We would never have the money to pay you back for this gift so we will pray to the God in heaven that he will bring abundance to you for what you’ve done.”
Granville says the experience taught him not to take necessities like clean water for granted. “Being in a small village like San Roque made me more aware of the things we take for granted in America,” he said. “I was also impressed with the level of pride the villagers had in themselves and in their country. They enjoy life, live in the moment and honor their culture.”