"We are more at peace"

The air is hot and sticky as the afternoon temperature rises in the town of San Jose del Norte.

Isidora Calderon Vargas rests in the shade of her porch while her five-month-old son Abel naps inside. Sober-faced Isidora grew up in this small community in rural Bolivia. At age 35, you can see in her serious eyes that she faced more than her share of life’s difficulties.

“The father of my first son, he left to study,” Isidora recalls, her expression betraying the sadness she still feels. “My desire was also to study, but I had my first baby so I couldn’t. He left me and then came back with another woman and another baby.”

Isidora then met another man who she hoped would be a good step-father to her son, but he also left her while she was pregnant with her youngest son.

Left on her own to provide for her growing family, Isidora found work in the soybean fields surrounding the community of San Jose del Norte.

“It is the only thing I know how to do, to work with the soybeans,” she says. “I worked hard and was able to get this field for a house.”

Adding to the burdens Isidora faced as a single mother was having to spend an hour and a half each day carrying buckets of water from the single water source in the town for cooking, bathing, and drinking. She would lose valuable time she could be working or spending with her sons.

A few years ago, Isidora got a water tap installed at her home.

Now, water is at her fingertips and she has more for time the things that are most important in her life. More time with her family, and more time to provide for her kids’ futures.

Best of all, she has one less thing to worry about for her sons.

Abel wakes up from his nap, and Isidora goes inside to get him. For the first time, she breaks into a smile, her sweet little baby on her hip. It’s clear that Isidora would do anything for her sons – they mean everything to her. Life has been hard, but she’s endured with grace and determination.

“Water is a part of life, and without it we can’t live,” Isidora says. “Now we are more at peace.”

In 2017, the district of San Pedro in Bolivia reached Everyone with reliable water service – every single family, school, and clinic.

San Pedro is the first of Water For People’s more than 30 Everyone Forever districts to reach this huge milestone. This means all 16,290 people in San Pedro have access to water – including the 265 families in the town of San Jose del Norte.

Reaching every family, clinic, and school in San Pedro is a huge milestone on the journey to reach Everyone with water that lasts Forever. Isidora is One of Everyone, and so are you. Support Water For People and be connected to more people like Isidora and her young sons. Join us, and be One of Everyone.

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