SAVE WATER/GIVE LIFE 2019 EL SALVADOR SCHOLARSHIP TRIP
Since 2016 SSC and Weathermatic have had a ongoing partnership upgrading the irrigation systems on many of the A&M system campuses. Through this partnership an annual service trip has been created offering 6 scholarships to students from various campuses to travel on behalf of the Living Water International program to Central America and help bring clean drinking water to areas with great need, teach hygiene and spreak the word of God.. This year, July 21-27, Human Resources Manager Peggy Cruse served as trip leader to El Salvador. SSC Irrigation Manager Patrick Towns and Residential Life Supervisor LeTisha Zepeda were also chosen to represent SSC on this trip. The scholarship recipients were Farid Realegeno, Cindy Figueroa, and Aneida Valdez of Texas A&M University and Joyce Garcia, Marina Garza, and Leslie Izaguirre of Texas A&M International University.
Below is a reflection shared by scholarship recipient Aneida Valdez:
If I could define my living water trip in just one word, it would be joy. I had not experienced this amount and level of happiness in such a long time. What I thought would be a trip solely consisting of me servicing others, the community I engaged with gave me so much more. I am so thankful that Weathermatic, SSC Services for Education, and TAMU gave me the opportunity to embark on this week-long mission trip. It only took seven days to experience everything I had longed for, and I never wanted to leave. The week was filled with joyous moments and relationships that I will remember for a lifetime. The village we served included a school that students k-6th grade spent a majority of their time. Every member of the community welcomed us with open arms and even took the time to create a wonderful banner and chant as we strolled in. The kids were so excited to take me through a tour of their village right down to the water resource they currently had where they bathe, wash clothes, play, and more. They made me feel right at home despite just meeting me with their amazing generosity and hospitality, and I was ready to do whatever I could to build them the best well possible. Having easy access to clean water would make such a tremendous difference for the community. I truly enjoyed working alongside everyone on the team, and meeting many wonderful people. I had the pleasure of teaching hygiene lessons to the students the first two work days and helping build the well on the last work day. On Thursday, the last day in the community, we had a dedication for the well and spent time all together. The community members had arranged a song, dance, and small gifts to express their gratitude to us and I will not forget how I felt in that moment. To be surrounded by the humblest, gracious, and amazing people and better yet, have the honor to meet each of them and form relationships was the most rewarding thing for me. It was in that moment, that I truly felt God’s presence and new that God’s work had been done. To all the kids that welcomed me with friendship, all the mothers of the community that cooked for us, all the men of the community that worked hard to help us drill the well, and all the Agua Viva staff that taught me what God’s love looks, sounds, and feels like, I am forever grateful.