Agua Para La Vida
2311 Webster Street
Berkeley, CA  94705
(510) 643-8003

                                          December 2002
Text Box:  Action not talk!         

The recent Earth Summit in Johannesburg was disappointing to those of us in the development world.  The good news was a “commitment” to cut in half the number of people without access to water and sanitation by the year 2015.  The bad news was that no resources were committed to achieve this.  Before the Summit, many countries were proposing that developed countries spend 0.7% of their GNP on development aid, but this proposal got nowhere.  For reference, the U.S. spends about 0.1% of GNP on development aid, the lowest rate of any developed nation.

While delegates to Earth Summit were discussing bringing clean water to the developing world, APLV was doing it.  With your financial support and with the labor of the villagers themselves, we have brought pure water to roughly ten thousand people.

This is an exciting time for Agua Para La Vida. With sixteen years of experience behind us, we have shown that we can do what we set out to do. With our success comes a commitment to continue our work and build even more momentum.  We hope to double the number of people we have helped over the next five years.  Clean water is there to be found and the campesinos are more than willing to work.  The missing part of the equation is money.  You have been so generous in the past and we are counting on you to pitch in again.  The need is great.  Reach out and tell the Agua Para La Vida story so that others might also have the reward of seeing their money work to such a good end.  We are all aware of the changes in the economy but compared to the standard of living in rural Nicaraguan villages, we are very fortunate indeed.  The gap between rich and poor is growing wider every day.



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Erik Decamp captures a young child and her “caballo” (horse) during our Project Tour last May.  You can see more of his beautiful photos at our website:
First APLV Project Tour a Success

Last May, the first APLV project tour took place in Nicaragua.  The delegation included Kelly Naylor, Jon Panek and Charlie Huizenga from the U.S., and Jean-Philippe Vial, Erik Decamp and Mathieu Le Corre from France.  Over an eight day period, the group visited several APLV projects, engaged in discussions with APLV staff, enjoyed a bit of sightseeing, and met with the Mayor of Rio Blanco who expressed his appreciation of APLV’s work in the region.  The highlight of the trip was an overnight visit to the village of La Bodega where a project was underway.  We hiked to the spring, helped carry some materials, and were at the tank site to see the water arrive for the first time after months of hard work by the community!  We were fed a tasty meal and spent the night in the homes of gracious community members. 


Jon Panek wrote of his visit to La Bodega:

…Early the next morning, to avoid the heat of mid-day, we set out along the trench-line.  The community has dug - again using only hand tools - a trench about 1 m deep from the hillside platform to the freshwater springs 7 km distant from the village!  It runs straight across open pasture, under barbed wire fence, up and down hills.  Machetes have hacked a 2 meter wide corridor through long tangles of dense tropical growth, and the trench continues on…

You can read the rest of Jon’s wonderful piece and see some of Erik’s beautiful photographs at the APLV web site:  The participants all enjoyed the trip and have carried their enthusiasm about our work home with them. We hope to make the Project Tour an annual event.  If you are interested in joining us next April or May, please let us know.  We will finalize the dates based on the availability of the participants

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APLV staff and students pose outside the Rio Blanco office.

Another graduation… thanks Kay!

ETAP, the APLV technical school, had its second graduation in August.  The two-year program includes both class work and hands-on practical experience and is a key component of our work.  Three women and three men completed the technical training:

Josť Leonel PŠez Garcia
Xiomara Elieta Obando Garcia
Harvin Antonio Alonso Rodriguez

Migdalia Centeno Herrera

Sara de los Angeles Lanzas Espinoza

Tomas Antonio Matamoros Vega


Congratulations to the new grads and a big warm “gracias” to their instructor Kay Force.  Kay and her husband Hugh spent nearly a year as APLV volunteers in Rio Blanco.  Kay devoted much energy and attention to the students and her teaching, and Hugh

played a valuable role in project management.  Kay and Hugh returned home to Ft. Collins, CO in September.  So much of our work is dependent on the efforts of volunteers like Kay and Hugh- we thank them and wish them well on their next journey!  We found Kay’s successor in Rumania- he is Jim Stacey, a Canadian hydraulics and civil engineer with extensive experience in Canada and rural Peru.  Jim just arrived in Rio Blanco at the end of November and plans to select a new class of students and to start instruction in February.
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APLV technicians measure the output of a spring for a new project.

New Projects

Our 27th and 28th projects, La Bodega and Puente de Paiwas were completed this fall and three more are slated for the coming year: Santa Rosa, Mombacho Arriba and Villa Siquia.  The Santa Rosa project will be largely financed by a gift from Kim and Randy Tews of Verona, Wisconsin.  The Tews took it upon themselves to raise money from their community to build on their own significant contribution.  They recently visited APLV in Rio Blanco and met with a large delegation from the community of Santa Rosa, accompanied by our good friend Carole Harper of El Porvenir. 

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New Rio Blanco Director

We are proud to announce that Reynaldo Diaz has been appointed as the Rio Blanco Director of APLV.  Reynaldo first distinguished his leadership as an enthusiastic worker in the construction of the water system of his own village, German Pomares.  His interest in that project motivated him to apply to the first class of our technical school.  He graduated from that program three years ago and has been working as a project designer since that time.  His appointment as director of the group is a real sign of success for the ETAP training program.  Another such sign is that other drinking water organizations in Nicaragua have begun to hire our graduates

.APLV branches out in France…

A French branch of Agua Para la Vida has sprouted this fall.  The new group is in part due to the interest stimulated by the recent APLV trip to Rio Blanco and includes: Erik Decamp, an engineer, mathematician, professional mountain guide and photographer; Jean-Philippe Vial, long-time friend of APLV and applied mathematician who has been invaluable in the development of our computer design tool for water distribution networks; Mathieu Le Corre, a former APLV instructor; Philippe Jennepin, an attorney who is shepherding the new group through the steps of official recognition as an "association", Agua Para La Vida, France.

…and the U.S. family grows too!

Bill McQueeney, Sudbury, MD, an important APLV contributor has created Rural Water Ventures, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise money for organizations such as APLV.

Debbie Parducci, Pacific Palisades, CA, also an APLV contributor is presently identifying and contacting foundations on our behalf.

Kelly Naylor, Lowell, MA, took part in our Project Tour and is a civil engineer who has volunteered help with the editing of technical manuals, software testing, and is also providing a number of leads for financial support.


APLV software under development

Text Box:  A collaboration between APLV and Jean-Philippe Vial (pictured at right) and his team at the University of Geneva has resulted in a powerful computer program used to design rural water system distribution networks.  Unlike systems in the U.S. or Europe that use pumps, large pipes and expensive pressure regulation valves, our designs must operate purely on gravity.  The program enables designers to achieve reliable performance while minimizing construction cost.  The tool is unique in several respects and should be of use to many other water development groups.  This and several other technical offerings will be available in the coming months from our Web site.


What you can do…

         Make a financial contribution to APLV.  Consider making a larger gift than you did last year.

         Spread the word by finding at least two other people who will contribute and join the APLV family.

         Put us in contact with a person or a foundation that you think would want to help us bring clean water to more people.

         Volunteer some time to help us with the many things it takes to keep our organization going.


We thank you for your support and wish you and the whole world a year of peace.

gilles             charlie

Gilles Corcos              Charlie Huizenga


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Text Box:  Agua Para La Vida

2311 Webster Street

Berkeley, CA  94705



















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