Groundwater Well

Las Peņitas, Madriz, Nicaragua

Sponsored by: Steve & Sharon Harrison, Atlanta, Georgia
and First Presbyterian Church Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The community of Las Peņitas is located in the hills of northern Nicaragua near the Honduras border. Our missionary colleague Angi Hopkins has been ministering to the neighboring community of Motuse for several years. The community leaders from Las Peņitas approached her requesting assistance bringing clean water to the community.

In March of last year, we were visiting Ronnie and Angi Hopkins to check on the status of some other water projects and were able to accompany Angi to visit the Las Peņitas site. The community showed us their "old well" which was hand dug and produced turbid, undrinkable water. Also, the orginal well diggers encountered rock, limiting the depth of the well. As a result, the well went dry during the long dry season.

Old Community Well

Turbid Undrinkable Water

One of the challenges of this project is the fact that Las Peņitas community is not easily accessible by truck and the hard rock geology necessitated the use of a large air rotary type drill rig. However, the drillers at Perforadora Santos (Santos Drilling) were not concerned and were able to get the equipment into the site without a problem. Once the well was drilled and the PVC casing set the well was purged with compressed air. This produces a real gusher of water which is always exciting for the community to watch.

Drilling Rig and Crew

Cleaning Out the Well

Since there is no electricity in the community, a manual hand pump was installed. The most common pump in Nicaragua is a "bomba de mecate" or a rope pump. The hand crank cycles a nylon rope with cups through a small PVC pipe, bringing water to the surface. These pumps are inexpensive, and most importantly, they can be readily repaired by local technicians. We were quite pleased with the great job Santos did installing the concrete apron around the well to avoid having to set the water buckets in the mud.

Installing the Hand Pump

Abundant Clean Water - What a Blessing!

We look forward to getting back to Nicaragua to visit the site and dedicate the well to Jesus. Many thanks to the donors, to the hard working community members who coordinated the project, to Santos Drilling and to Angi Hopkins who initiated the project. To God be the Glory!!

Technical Details

Project date: April - December, 2017

Location: Latitude 13.519485 North, Longitude -86.663343 West

Project cost: $4,512 (Our donor contributions - other donors contributed through Angi Hopkins)

Type of project: Installation of water well and hand pump

Well depth: 200 ft.

Pump type: Hand operated rope pump

People served: Community consists of about 100 people

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