Saturday, July 16, 2011

Paraguay #12: Let Them Come to the Water

Here's Another Post from Elizabeth Stocking...
Fountain in Santa Rosa Plaza
We begin our day in the plaza of Santa Rosa. The fountain splashes abundant water. A good symbol of the abundant water just below the surface of Paraguayan soil. Abundant water but not accessible.  We learned about this at a briefing before our trip. Water in Paraguay is taking shape as a commodity with foreigners buying into it for their profit.
I think of this as we stand speaking with the members of Asociacion of Feriantes. They are here selling produce at a local farmer’s market set up with the support of ADPP, another D&P partner, and we are learning how the market came to be.  Yesterday we met with Seraphim and his family.  He is part of similar program and we toured the gardens where he and his family laboured.  One of their greatest challenges is having enough water in the summer months. One hundred and thirty families share one water source which is rationed. If they exceed their ration water is cut off. The cost of a new well? Fifteen thousand dollars – out of this communities reach, though water lies just 100 metres below the surface.
Seraphim on his land
Rain in the Market
Water falls from the sky as we scramble for cover huddling together to carry on our conversation.  Time and again we are told how access to water is vital for the success of the campesinos , and how hard it is to get access to it.
Access has been easy for us. So easy that twice we have been able to go for a swim at hotels we stayed in. It weighs on my mind as we cross back and forth between places of have and have not. I heard from home this morning that back home in Ontario they have not had rain and temperatures have been high.  I know what that means for our farm, the stress that causes and we have access to a pond and irrigation system.  I know great gratitude for this gift of water and pray its abundance be for the people of Paraguay and not profit.  Yes ‘Life Before Profit ‘ lived out day by day, person by person.

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