Sandra is 25 years old. She was born in Masiguito, into a large family of 8. At the age of 13 she married her husband Martin. Martin is a respected community leader and a subsistence farmer who grows corn and beans on small plots of land near the village. They have two sons, ages 12 and 4. They live in a comfortable wooden house which Martin built for his family and his mother.
Sandra is a member of the committee which organized and supervised the water project in Masiguito, that Blue Planet helped to finance, and she and all of her neighbors worked every day on the project during its construction, digging the ditches and laying the pipe from the spring to the houses. She continues as an active member of the committee, serving as treasurer and collecting a small sum each month from each family, to have a fund ready to pay for any needed repairs. Here is Sandra with her two children at a newly installed water spigot. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run Foundation.)
Prior to the water project, Sandra walked for 20 minutes downhill from her house to an open stream to collect water in a clay jug and carry it back on her shoulder. Her two sons accompanied her, carrying smaller water jugs. She reports that it took about 40 minutes to walk back uphill, not only because of the weight of the water on her shoulder but also because the children went more slowly. She made this trip several times every morning, and several times every afternoon. Since the project was completed, she has a spigot in her back yard which delivers clean water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She no longer spends 4 or 5 hours a day carrying water. Sandra has gone back to school, and now (2 years after the project) is in 2nd year of high school, studying on Saturdays at the Adult School in the village of La Calamidad, 4 kilometers away. She walks the 4 km each way every Saturday because she does not have money for the bus. But now she has time.
She also has time to grow a few vegetables in the back yard near the spigot, protecting the plants from her flock of hens with wire and thorny branches. She also has time now for the activities of her church, a small Catholic chapel serving the two sectors of the community of Masiguito. She attends services, workshops, and special events at the church, which she was not able to do before.
Sandra represented El Porvenir, and Blue Planet Run water projects, at the UN in New York in July of 2006.
"Thanks to you, I am now able to go to school and educate myself."