0 In Water Wells

the t-shirt filter of it

Today, Candida lives in Sagrada Familia, the only community she has ever known. Her lips curl into a smile as she recalls visiting the Rio Tecomapa to collect water as a child, across the barren landscape and down the hill from where we sit, from where she still calls home. But that was before.

Today, Rio Tecomapa is dry here and has been since Hurricane Mitch. Today, a single shallow well provides contaminated water for the community. But only when there is water in it. This day, the day we visit, there is not.


Today, she will again check the well. She always does. On a good day, she will lower her bucket into the murky water and enlist her grandsons to help her pull it back up and carry it to the home she shares with her family of nine.

Today, she will filter the water through her t-shirt before boiling it on her stove. She will offer it to her grandkids who are thirsty and to her sons heading out to work in the fields. Today, she will hope that it does not make them sick. Today, she will hope that tomorrow will be better.

We leave her village. I am hot. I am sweating. I glance down at my own dirty t-shirt. I look up, but am still looking back.

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