Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic was the site for our final testing of the EXP-50 “Explorer” Portable Hand Drilling System. Brookwood Community Church has an ongoing outreach to the people west of Santo Domingo. By partnering with a local church, Brookwood has been able to make a significant impact on the community of Las Brisas del Este. Some of the projects have included building and equipping a permanent medical clinic and church facilities. As for Hydromissions, this was a demo run – complete with its ups and downs. We were not able to complete a successful well here, but part of our equipment (the cracking bit) was used to break through a cement wall to fix a major electrical hazard at the medical clinic. Who says electricity and water don’t mix?

HydroLog: 1/11/04. Location: N 18˚ 28.687’, W 069˚ 50.407’, Elevation: 102 ft. Suburban area with much previous construction debris. Reddish, almost volcanic soil. At 11 feet, coral was hit and drilling stopped. Reports of possible drilling in the rural, interior regions of the country. Reports of brackish water around island’s perimeter.

El Salvador

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God Provides Rain when Soil Presents Problems
The latest trip to El Salvador proved to be a test of determination, perseverance and faith.
The tiny village of La Cumbre Del Olvido, literally meaning “The Summit of Oblivion,” is home to about 32 families, a population of roughly 210 people. Oblivion is the state of being forgotten or unknown, and as the name suggests, this village is extremely isolated. The nearest town, Tacuba, is a two hour walk down a mountain. Those born in La Cumbre Del Olvido will likely spend their whole lives there.
At most, the villagers have a 6th grade education. They are a simple, friendly people with a yearning for the Lord. Upon arrival, the Hydromissions teams noticed that the villagers employ a mixture of Catholicism and Christian traditions. In their church hangs a picture of the Pope and a crucifix depicting Christ on the cross.
Most of the villagers are subsistence farmers, meaning whatever is planted and harvested is consumed by the farmer and his family, leaving nothing to be marketed and sold for other basic needs.
The area has a six month rainy season followed by a six month dry season. The dry season is detrimental to these farmers and their families as the only stream used for drinking dries up. Previously, a foreign aid organization had installed rain collection tanks throughout the village. While this was not potable water, they had no other choice but to drink it.
With the team arriving at the village as dry season was approaching, it was imperative that they get a well up and running as soon as possible. However, there were two red flags that the team knew could pose significant problems. First, the soil is mostly made up of volcanic rock and red clay. Second, there are few flat areas posing major drilling problems and water runoff issues.
After three days, nearly 20 hours of drilling, and travelling to three different site locations, the solid, impenetrable rock prevented the successful installation of a bore well. On the final day of the trip, team members provided the locals with a training class explaining the equipment to complete the drilling process and how to install the water pump. However, due to the soil conditions, a bore well will be nearly impossible to install without a proper solid rock breaking tool that is the full diameter of the bore hole which would allow proper clearance.
While a feeling of defeat threatened to creep into the hearts of the team each time they hit rock, nearly every afternoon they were reminded of God’s love as His skies opened up and rain poured down on the village.
While this was a trying trip it was a lesson of humility and a testament to God’s power. God will provide for these Villagers, and their continued prayers will be answered.

Haiti

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An EXP-50 was used by Dartmouth Evangel Pentecostal Church in Nova Scotia. They are working in a remote, mountainous part of the country near the border of the Dominican Republic. In May, 2006, Van Smith (one of our consultants) traveled with Hope for the Hungry to help with percussion drilling and cistern development. They drilled at a school in Marothiere, located south of Port au Prince on the end of a very steep finger of land. Limestone rock was evident. This team was unable to hit water.

HydroLog: 6/13/06. Location: N 18°25.911′; W 72°14.690′. Elevation: 4720 ft.

Honduras

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Our water missions in Honduras have centered around La Ceiba. The actual drilling regions have been in Jutiapa and Nueva Mesicales. We did meet some missionaries drilling water-blasted wells along the coastal regions in the north. Those wells were being put in at a depth of about 25 feet. Living Water International has a strong presence in Honduras, as do many other missions and relief groups due to the influx of aide that poured in after Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

HydroLog: 11/13/03. Location: N 15º 42.410′, W 086º 6.125′. Rural area in the middle of a relief compound village (rebuilt after hurricane Mitch). Bush pump well on concrete pad located outside, in front of church. Easy drilling to 23 ft, then gravel to 25-26ft. Pilot hole down to 68ft, then hit rock or gravel. Well screen set at 58ft. Good water production. Well left under supervision of local pastor, to be checked on by Living Water, Honduras.

Mexico

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We had the privilege of sending Kieth Larrimore as our consultant down to Oaxaca, Mexico in May, 2006 to train over 20 local and foreign missionaries on well drilling and general appropriate water technologies. The trip was organized by Global Frontier Missions. The hope is that these newly equipped missionaries will branch out to several other countries as they are called.

Nicaragua

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The first officially purchased Hydromissions EXP-50 Explorer drilling rig went to Nicaragua with Calvary Chapel of Greenville, SC. Combined with teams from other churches, a total of 46 people traveled to Nueva Guinea (about 160 miles southeast of Managua) to conduct medical clinics, well drilling, radio tower set-up, and other construction projects. Plans are underway to return annually. Attention is also being given to ministry opportunities in a garbage dump community located outside of Managua. The drill rig was left in Nueva Guinea under the care of the local church to continue in the work there and in surrounding villages.

HydroLog: 03/27/04 – 04/03/04. Some hand dug wells were noted in the immediate area, ranging everywhere from 20-90 feet deep according to locals. The team had only one day to drill. Some small (baseball-sized) rock was encountered, but able to be removed with the cracking bit. The team drilled to an impressive 45 feet in one day, until hitting moist clay and another rock, at which time daylight was giving out. The well was left to be completed by locals.

October, 2008 saw Hydromissions team up with Holy Water Group for a joint project in the area of Rivas. We worked with a local church team and left behind an EXP-50 Explorer drilling rig for them to continue to drill in more remote areas.
HydroLog: 10/09/08- 10/18/08. Some hand dug wells were noted in the immediate area, averaging 40ft. The team had only one day to drill. Site #1: N 11° 25.919′, W 085° 50.953′, elevation 107 meters. Mud to 10ft then dry until 15ft. Rock at 20ft, but easily fractured & oily, then hard rock. Drilled to 22ft, then stopped. Site #2: N 11° 25.831′, W 085° 50.952′, elevation 108 meters. Very sticky clay to 9ft, then dryer. Drilled rapidly to 13 ft, then hit rock and stopped. Site #3 (Humberto Amador Lopez primary school). N 11° 26.075′, W 085° 50.028′, elevation 79 meters. Attempted to redevelop a well that had been blocked by students who had dropped rocks into the tube. Used percussion rig to no avail. Determined that the bottom of the tube was filled with 20+ ft of rocks and wood.