Peru // Project Q’ero

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There is a specific moment that happens every time we do a water filter demo for a community in need. I call it the “Light Bulb” moment.

Their eyes widen — jaws drop — and they stand taller — proud like. It is magical.

I forget how magical it really is sometimes because I am so close to it. Here’s a quick snapshot of what this moment usually looks like — we take a local water source that sometimes looks the same color as an IPA beer, run it through the filter system that we built in a matter of minutes (with nothing but a 5 gal bucket and a knife) and viola — out comes crystal clear potable water. It is amazing — But the best part is that it’s real — no illusions, just a perfect shiny example of technological evolution. And the proof — Well, using the most extreme example, it’s about as simple as this — we go into a community where people are dying — we do our program — they stop dying.

But it’s the “Light Bulb” moment that makes my heart expand every time. Watching people’s reactions when the only water source they’ve ever known, goes from dark to light is priceless.

I recently got the opportunity to do a project with a few of the Q’ero villages in the Peruvian Andes. An incredible woman by the name of Denise Kinch reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in partnering up with her to provide these villages with clean water.


Her foundation, Vanishing Cultures, has been working with these particular villages for 20 years, aiding them on many fronts. She has also studied and practiced their spiritual belief system for just as long and is now a renowned teacher of such ways herself.

She has devoted much of her life to helping this community that most of the world doesn’t even know exists. I’ve done this long enough now to know that there are indigenous communities all over the world that have slipped through the cracks and are literally receiving zero help of any kind.


Mostly its due to proximity — just getting to the Q’eros is a feat. The physical difficulty alone cuts down the abilities of many aid groups and if no one goes; then no one knows they exist, let alone the problems they face.

There are pockets like this all over the world and ever since starting W4W I have loved finding these pockets. It may just be habit from my days of surf exploration, but really I think it comes from a bigger notion, one that strikes a very deep chord. It’s the notion of the “forgotten ones” — the people around the world that for whatever reason have found themselves in the shadows. They are out there in the farthest corners with the same basic needs as everyone else, but there’s no ears listening to them.


I absolutely love my work and no matter who the recipient is, it always boils down to this — humans helping humans with the basic needs we are ALL entitled to. That said, I get an extra level of expansion when we get an opportunity to help the “forgotten ones”.

From a W4W standpoint this journey was right up our alley — rugged adventure + humanitarianism — it’s what we’ve always done and a perfect example of our philosophy in action: Do what you love to do and help along the way.

Thanks to Hurley and badass lens-man, Tom Aiello, this journey was documented. I will let the video do its job at sharing the rest of this epic mission with you. Please check it out— and if you feel inclined to share it, I’m very grateful for it! Also, big ups to Rob Machado for creating/playing the closing song for this video!

Thanks!

JR


4 Responses to “Peru // Project Q’ero”

  1. Nicola

    Hello
    I will be travelling to peru and bolivia in a couple of weeks and would like to deliver some filters if possible. Could you let me know if this is feasible, and the weight of community/family filters?
    I would also appreciate any advice you may have on whether/where these are needed in the cuzco area, planning on heading out to some q’ero villages.
    many thanks
    Nicola

    Reply
  2. Sharon

    Hello,
    I’m wondering do you give them medication to get rid of the parasites as well?

    I met a young boy in Mexico years ago who drank street water and had a number of different parasites. I took him to a doctor and he gave us prescriptions to get filled and my translator explained the drugs and dosages to his family. I had to leave before seeing the rewards but all the same It is the most rewarding & life changing thing I’ve done in my life.

    So can you please answer this question? Do you give out medications and how would I go about doing that if it was necessary if I was a courier for the project?

    In the future, I will help out with Waves4Water anyway I can.

    Keep up the good work!!!
    Blessings,
    Sharon

    Reply
    • Brent

      Sharon,
      Great question. There is no need for medications as both filters do filter out ALL parasites. So NO we do not give out medications However, the ceramic filter is less likely to filter cholera as it is such a small micron size and the pores in the ceramic are sometimes big enough for it to pass thru. We recommend using the community filter.
      Thanks ~ W4W

      Reply
  3. Suly Depaz

    Hello,

    FIRST OF ALL TO CONGRATULATE THEM ON THE GREAT LABOR THAT THEY REALIZE, I HAVE JUST SEEN A PROGRAM FOR FOXLIFE – RICKI AND I SAW THE HISTORY OF THE LEADER JON ROSE, SINCERELY TO CONGRATULATE HIM ONCE AGAIN. I AM INTERESTED IN HAVING A FILTER CANNOT AS PODRIA OBTAIN IT. I AM FROM ALIVE PERU IN LIMA, CAPABLE THEY HAVE A CONTACT. AGRADECERE THE RESPONSE. AN EMBRACE. THANK YOU

    Reply

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