BioSand Filter recipients “pay it forward” by helping to build filters for other struggling El Salvador families

December 17, 2018 • El Salvador
BioSand Filter recipients help assemble the steel forms into which concrete is poured to create the filter walls.
BioSand Filter recipients help assemble the steel forms into which concrete is poured to create the filter walls.

“If Canadians visited me, I would welcome them with open arms,” filter recipient says. “I encourage them to continue supporting this ministry because there are other communities that need safe water.”

When you give us funds to build and install BioSand Water Filters for impoverished families in El Salvador, we ensure that recipients invest in the process by helping to build filters for others.

It’s a “pay it forward” requirement that Dimas Dubon fully supports.

BioSand Filter recipient Dimas sifts the sand that is a key component of BioSand Filters.

BioSand Filter recipient Dimas sifts the sand that is a key component of BioSand Filters.

Dimas was one of several recipients who recently helped to wash, dry, and sift the sand that is a key component of BioSand Filters at Samaritan’s Purse’s filter-building facility in rural El Salvador. Other recipients helped assemble the steel forms into which concrete is poured to create the filter walls.

Dimas says he’s thankful for his own filter, and glad to build more for his neighbors, because “we’re not really sure what’s in our water” that comes from shallow hand-dug wells.

The 28-year-old married father of two says although they treat their water with chlorine tablets, the water still tastes awful and one of Dimas’ daughters became sick with diarrhea from parasites in their well. That forced her to miss a week of school, and cost the family nearly $150—a month’s wages—for three visits to the doctor and the medication to cure her.

“With a filter, we won’t have anything bad in our water and I’ll have more peace of mind,” says another filter recipient, Clara Ayala, a 52-year-old widow who helps support two daughters and three grandchildren.

“I want my children and grandchildren to have a healthier life,” Clara declares. “I trust BioSand Filters because it was explained to me in detail how they work.”

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Like Dimas, Clara gets her water from a shallow well and uses chlorine to try to make it safer for drinking. Sadly, her nine-year-old grandson Diego often has stomach pains and has been treated for parasites.

“Those treatments help for a while, until the parasites return,” Clara says quietly during a break in the filter work where she is helping to clean filters before they are installed. “His school grades have gone down because of this and I’m worried about his future.”

As Dimas and Clara helped build and install water filters, opportunities arose for our staff to tell them about water that’s even more important than what comes out of their filters: the Living Water of Jesus Christ. He is “a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy” (Isaiah 25:4, ESV).

Clara is thankful to God and to Canadians for the physical and spiritual help she’s receiving.

“If Canadians visited me, I would welcome them with open arms,” she says. “I encourage them to continue supporting this ministry because there are other communities that need safe water.”

You can create healthier homes, schools, and communities in developing countries through your support of Samaritan’s Purse Water Projects. A gift of $25 can provide safe water for one person; you can supply a family with a BioSand Filter (and important health and hygiene training) with each $150 you donate, or consider contributing to the $10,000 cost of a much larger Samaritan Filter for an entire school or small community.

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