MISSION: WATER 32 HEADLINE HURRICANE ZONE Up go the towers In the aftermath of the hurricane, some residents had access to donated bottled water, but it was running water they needed. Some were so desperate for water they resorted to drinking from contaminated sources. The volunteer team was tasked with building twelve water towers, each tower providing 10,000 liters of clean drinking water every day to sustain up to 1,000 people. An incredible and humbling experience “The communities were incredible to experience,” says Treatment Manager Mainor Vega. “Often there were big parties with a priest blessing the tower and children chanting for ‘agua’. We could really feel what the clean water meant to them.” “There were about a hundred people waiting in line with empty bottles, just watching us build,” says Nate. “It was the quickest we had ever built a tower. And even though these people were going without, they fed us more food than any of us could eat.” “We all take water for granted. Living in the United States we have an easier life. But when you go to a place where they don’t have as much as we do, and then the rest is ripped from under them, it’s humbling to see them be so thankful, to be so excited to have such a basic human need given to them.” “To see the devastation and destruction first hand, it’s reminded me of what we all have.” One of the last sites the team worked at was in an isolated part of the island where people were desperately waiting for help to arrive. “There were communities with up to 15,000 people without power. And they had been told they’re not going to have power until next year at the earliest. Because of that, they were just abandoning their homes, their cars and dogs. Getting on airplanes and going to Miami to be with family. Just abandoning Puerto Rico all together. To see the devastation and destruction first hand, it’s reminded me of what we all have.” "We had all kinds of water, except clean water, until now." "...you have given us the gift of mother nature for free... You guys are angels.” Benjamin Marrero, Barrio San Lorenzo, Morovis Ixa, High School Student