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A Message from Waver For Water

There is a specific moment that happens every time we do a water filter demo for a community in need. I call it the “Light Bulb” moment.

Their eyes widen… jaws drop… and they stand taller – proud like. It is magical.

I forget how magical it really is sometimes because I am so close to it. Here’s a quick snapshot of what this moment usually looks like - we take a local water source that sometimes looks the same color as an IPA beer, run it through the filter system that we built in a matter of minutes (with nothing but a 5 gal bucket and a knife) and viola -- out comes crystal clear potable water. It is amazing… But the best part is that it’s real - no illusions, just a perfect shiny example of technological evolution. And the proof… Well, using the most extreme example, it’s about as simple as this – we go into a community where people are dying… we do our program – they stop dying.

But it’s the “Light Bulb” moment that makes my heart expand every time. Watching people’s reactions when the only water source they’ve ever known, goes from dark to light is priceless.

I recently got the opportunity to do a project with a few of the Q’ero villages in the Peruvian Andes. An incredible woman by the name of Denise Kinch reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in partnering up with her to provide these villages with clean water. Her foundation, Vanishing Cultures, has been working with these particular villages for 20 years, aiding them on many fronts. She has also studied and practiced their spiritual belief system for just as long and is now a renowned teacher of such ways herself.

She has devoted much of her life to helping this community that most of the world doesn’t even know exists. I’ve done this long enough now to know that there are indigenous communities all over the world that have slipped through the cracks and are literally receiving zero help of any kind. Mostly its due to proximity – just getting to the Q’eros is a feat. The physical difficulty alone cuts down the abilities of many aid groups and if no one goes; then no one knows they exist, let alone the problems they face. There are pockets like this all over the world and ever since starting W4W I have loved finding these pockets. It may just be habit from my days of surf exploration, but really I think it comes from a bigger notion, one that strikes a very deep chord. It’s the notion of the “forgotten ones” – the people around the world that for whatever reason have found themselves in the shadows. There are out there in the farthest corners with the same basic needs as everyone else, but there’s no ears listening to them. I absolutely love my work and no matter who the recipient is, it always boils down to this – humans helping humans with the basic needs we are ALL entitled to. That said, I get an extra level of expansion when we get an opportunity to help the “forgotten ones”.

From a W4W standpoint this journey was right up our alley – rugged adventure + humanitarianism… it’s what we’ve always done and a perfect example of our philosophy in action: Do what you love to do and help along the way.

Thanks to Hurley and badass lens-man, Tom Aiello, this journey was documented. I will let the video do its job at sharing the rest of this epic mission with you. Please check it out… and if you feel inclined to share it, I’m very grateful for it! Also, big ups to Rob Machado for creating/playing the closing song for this video!

W4W Q’ero Project video: http://vimeo.com/41105974

Jon Rose
Waves For Water - Founder
jon@wavesforwater.org

 

Peru Expedition 2011

PHC joins VCF and Waves for Water, Q'ero's 2011

Peru Expedition 2011.

It was a glorious journey this year.  The group of PHC consisted of all advanced students.  The ayllu came from all over, folks from New York, Massachusetts, Washington State, and Canada.  As expeditions usually have surprises, this year it was an amazing journey and challenging every moment. I had never led an expedition in September and October, and although the rainy season was not expected until December, the Cuzco valley experienced heavy rains very early this year!

As with all our journeys we incorporate the work of Vanishing Cultures into the trip.   Starting off exploring the city of Cuzco, we visited all the sacred sites of the Inca.  Working with the sacred site of Chakan, mother of the waters, to release all those things that no longer serve us, feeling refreshed and free. Then off to the village of Pisac, it has one of the largest native markets in the area.  First stop was to visit our VCF elementary School in Maska.  We checked out our new community kitchen, delivered school supplies to each student and a years supply to the teacher.  The teacher then told us all the community kitchen supplies such as pots, pans, dishes, utensils cups…just everything was stolen just a few days before during a community celebration. After sharing a meal, dancing with the children, coming up with a new plan for the supplying the kitchen, we continued our journey to the Sacred site of Pisac.  Engaging in ceremony until the early hours of the morning, we found our way down the Apu in darkness…it was a new moon, testing our true vision! 


Continuing on we worked with the sacred sites along the way to Macchu Picchu. Thankfully because I have created good relationships in these sites, we were allowed to work with the energies in each site.  (Many sites are not permitting ceremony any more.)


Ready and excited we departed for Apu Salcantay.  The wild untamed feminine Apu!  I have worked with the Apu many times before however it was the first time for this group. Upon entering her domain, we asked her permission and entered her world humbly.  Apu Salcantay always has many surprises for those who journey with an open heart.  The trail was difficult, it was raining very steady…even the horses were nervous.  We had a few spills, no one seriously hurt, just a wake up call for some to knock in some sense, respect and humbleness.  The first view of Huamantay was breathtaking, clouds coming and going, swallowing us up and then dissolving around us.  Then Apu Salcantay appeared in all her grace. Those paying attention were speechless…no words could describe her beauty.  Over the next week, we learned the power of this Apu.  We worked with her lagoons, plants, earth, and glaciers.  We were graced with the presence of Dona Asunta, Don Manuel’s daughter.  She carries the gentle tender energy of Don Manuel, and creates beautiful ceremony and song. Dona Asunta was a joy to have working with us, she was embraced by almost everyone, with her sweet laughter until necessary, then this strong voice was clearly heard… she had many new experiences with our group, ones she will never forget, nor will the group.  We had a challenging yet powerful experience driving part of the way back to Cuzco in the back of a cattle truck!  Our pick up van could not get to us due to the weather, so we hitched a ride the native way!  It was a perfect end to the wildness of Apu Salcantay, though Gina may not agree with us since she was sitting in the front cab…well it was heavily raining and we did drive through a few rivers and go directly down some not sure they were road paths!

Those who choose to open their hearts and be present, to let go of ego and their own stories, were humbled by the beauty of our Apu Salcantay and came away with the wisdom of knowing so many things at such a soul level, we may not be able to speak them eloquently, but we will always have that gift in our heart and souls. Our walk and connection in this medicine has been magnified and solidified in our beings.  Thank you Apu Salcantay.

In this tradition we learn to never look for validation, when all is well, nature will always validate our work is on the right path.  Well Apu Salcantay gifted many of us with a whole galley of meteorites, some weighing 15 plus pounds!!!  It was wonderful to walk among so many meteorites, it seemed as though there were hundreds, that may be a bit of an exaggeration…for anyone who knows meteorites will understand!

After departing from this great Apu Salcantay, we found a little hostile in Santa Theresa which welcomed us, as dirty an smelly as we were. Santa Theresa has hot springs! We rested and soaked in the hot springs recovering and feeling clean from our week of camping in the rain and our cattle truck experience!

Back in Cuzco we met up with Jon Rose, founder of Waves for Water.  We planned on leaving the next day for the Q’ero villages of Chua Chua and Challma Champa to deliver clean water filters to 50 families as a pilot project to see if they are feasible in the Q’ero’s.

VCF, Inc. has been in search for a feasible way to get clean, free from parasites, water for the Q’ero nation.  Finally after many years, we came across Jon and Waves for Water, thanks to Pamela Anderson.

Because the Q’ero Nation is very difficult to get to, VCF has not found something they thought would actually work. This journey was no different than the last two weeks, rain and cold, but this group never gave in, most acted and worked with beauty, respect, and elegance! 

The difficulty in finding a way to have clean water in the Q’ero has been to have something that needs no maintenance and everyone can use.  Since the Q’ero are nomadic during the day, VCF needed to find something that would work for them.  The Q’ero Nation is unique in many ways.

So along with some of the PHC students we spent the week teaching and putting together the water filters.  It was wonderful to watch as the village members realized how simple the filter is to use is and how simple it is to keep it functioning for five to six years!  They could not believe I would drink the muddy river water without hesitation after it was filtered!  So for the first time in their lives, they and their children have the potential to become parasite free!  Which of course will decrease infant mortality and decrease abdominal discomfort for all ages!!!!  We now have a “representative” in each village to oversee the use and possible problems of the filters.  If the filters are used consistently in these two pilot projects, we will find a way to deliver filters to all the families living in the Q’ero’s.

PHC joins VCF and Waves for Water 2011, YEAH!

VCF has accomplished one of its original and most difficult goals for the Q’ero Nation.  We have been looking for a filter that could be available to everyone, easy to use, have no complicated parts, would not break as soon as we left the village and had a long working life (5-6 years).  Thank you Pamela Anderson, I saw her describing this program on TV!

In October of 2011, VCF led by Denise Kinch in conjunction with Jonathan Rose and Waves for Water delivered clean water filters, which remove all internal parasites, to fifty, yes fifty, families in the high Q’ero villages of Chua Chua and Challma Champana! 

For the first time in the life of the Q’ero Nation the possibility of not ingesting internal parasites and  associated stomach problems from the water sources has ever been possible in the Q’ero Villages!

We had a small group of folks from Washington State, Massachusetts, New York, and Alberta, Canada. 

This was a pilot program to test the feasibility of the Q’ero continuing to use these filters.  If we have positive results, all Q’ero families will receive a filter.

Our group sat with the people in each village. By hand we bore holes in the buckets used in conjunction with the filters. The inquisitiveness of the people was fascinating, they played with the parts, put the filters together over and over, learned how to clean them to keep them at the highest level of operation, and they assisted each other in the process, we sat back and just watched.
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Each village now has a filter representative which will check in monthly.  They let us know how things are going, any problems, and what percent of the filters are being used.

We were very excited by the involvement of the Q’ero people for these filters. Watching them work together was a beautiful example of the way of life in these villages…anyi.

VCF also delivered veterinary supplies to treat the internal and external parasites of the six thousand llama, alpaca, and sheep, as well as school supplies toall the students and teachers of the schools in Chua Chua and Challma Chimpana.

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