Palkaka, Honduras

On May 14, 2015, a team of 11 volunteers set out for Wine To Water’s first service trip to Honduras. They flew into the capital city, Tegucigalpa, then took a 15 passenger propeller plane up to the Mosquito Coast, which is in the north eastern most part of the country, and landed on the dirt runway in Puerto Lempira.

There were 8 students from the Appalachian State University WTW Chapter, their advisor and 2 guests from Photoserve, who joined us for this 10-day adventure on this small island. The team was warmly welcomed by the community with lunch, dance performances, and a tour of the island, they then set up their sleeping arrangements for the week.

Photo Credit: Bittany Girle from

The island was incredibly beautiful; however, there were over 50 broken wells found that have been abandoned for the past 10 years. Several of these wells had trash stuffed down inside, rendering them inoperable.

After the tour, the team and our ground partners, Agua Para el Pueblo, knew there was much work to do. The week started with a community meeting to explain who they were and why they were there.

Community Meeting | Photo Credit: Bittany Girle from
Jacobo Nunez, Director of Agua Para El Pueblo, looking at a map of the community wells. | Photo Credit: Bittany Girle from

With help from the community, the team mapped out which wells would be repaired and where they would dig new ones, and then got to work.

Left: Corey cleaning the well; Middle: Raleigh, Savannah, and Nick installing new pipes into a broken well. Right: Savannah, Raleigh, Kylie, and Lisa carrying supplies to the well site.
Left: Leo, Hannah, & Rene digging a new well Middle: Amy making sure the water hose doesn’t clog with mud Right: Brittany drawing measurements on the casing for the new well

Collectively, the team was able to assist in repairing 29 broken wells and dig 2 new wells in 1 week!

Of course, work wasn’t the only thing that consumed their time;

In between all the drilling and repairing, relationships happened.

Above: Brittany Girle from Photoserve was able to connect with several people in the community through photographs.
Above: Kylie Winkleman had a special way of connecting with just about every child on the island through games, funny faces, other activities.

There is nothing like providing clean water to a community in need, but it is not sustainable unless you provide education along with it. Throughout the week, Milton, the community leader, our ground partners, and the volunteer team were able to teach the importance of clean water and sanitation to each of the homeowners and the school children.

Women and children, being the primary water gatherers, no longer have to walk long distances to gather water from the community well.

And now over 820 people on the island of Palkaka, Honduras have access to clean water right outside their home!

Water | Photo Credit: Bittany Girle from

And the children are able to enjoy more time playing with their friends.

Freedom | Photo Credit: Bittany Girle from

The purpose of a service trip is to give an opportunity to volunteers to participate in one piece of a long-term process of learning about the water crisis, engaging with the culture, and serve in community around the world. These volunteers have accomplished that and much more.

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