Our first official Hydromissions expedition was in June, 2005, to a remote part of Venezuela to work with the Waraos indigenous people. This was a joint effort between Hydromissions International and S.W.I.M (Safe Water International Ministries). Travel was tough. The flight to Caracas was followed by a 2-hour drive to the bus terminal, followed by a 12-hour bus ride to Tucupita, followed by an hour drive to a town called Volcan on the Orinoco River (the headquarters of Vida Cristiana Mission – our hosts). Supplies were acquired in Tucupita and loaded onto a small river boat for an 8 1/2 hour trip to Arature (the mission has a base camp/house there). The supplies were then transferred to a smaller boat to navigate the narrow channels on the 4 hour trip to Jotaida – our final destination. Boat trips had to be timed with the tides since we were close enough to be effected by the ocean. In all, it took 5 days to get to the site and 4 days to get back home. We lived on Power Bars and Gatorade. Jotaida is home to 13 Warao families. Situated deep in the jungle of the Orinoco River Delta (very close to Guyana), Jotaida is a small community of open-sided log huts. There is no electricity and no running water, and the people live on what they find in the jungle or in the river. Food consists of shredded yucca and an occasional fish. The only water source was straight out of the stagnant river inlet (black water) – until this well was put in. The Waraos are an almost forgotten people group (in fact, one Venezuelan guy we talked to in Caracas was shocked to hear we were working with them – he’s only seen them on the Discovery Channel). The government doesn’t want much to do with them, and their location makes it difficult to contact them. The Waraos speak a native dialect, but there are local believers who can translate from Spanish to Warao. There is even a New Testament and 4 books of the Old Testament in the Warao language. In Jotaida, about 40 of the 75-100 people are Christians. Those believers meet in a small hut every morning for 2 hours of prayer, and every evening for 2-3 hours of singing, Bible study and fellowship. We are encouraged that God has been establishing a consistent outreach to these people through the local church, and we are very pleased to say that 2 people asked to receive Christ in Jotaida during this trip. There are at least 35 such villages that Vida Cristiana hopes to reach within the next few years, so please be praying for them.
HydroLog: 06/21/05-07/04/05. Location: N 08˚ 13.117’, W 060˚ 41.136’, Elevation: 53 ft. A very remote village (Jotaida) in the Orinoco River Delta, far south of Tucupita. Well site is 100 meters from river. Mostly red clay mixed with sand. Hit water at 15ft, drilled to 18ft. Standing water level at 8ft (10 ft water column in casing). Water ran clear after 3 hours of use, and could not be pumped dry. Location: N 08˚ 53.075’, W 062˚ 02.122’, Elevation: 152 ft. Attempted well site in the town of Volcan (near Tucupita). Very strange, tacky gray clay was encountered most of the way. Drilled to 22ft. Shaft collapsed to 18ft, with only 6ft of standing water. Well could be quickly pumped dry. All tubes successfully removed and well abandoned.