Posted by: mattnespoli | November 9, 2012

Seeing our baby grow…firsthand

Last month, I visited Waslala, Nicaragua for the first time in over three years. My biggest takeaway from the experience: wow, how we have grown!

Three years ago, when I was last in Waslala, we had no full-time salaried staff members on the ground. Rather, we utilized volunteer parish staff and a contracted construction manager to implement our projects. We realized at that point that we needed more boots on the ground to improve the quality and sustainability of construction of our water systems, so we hired two staff in 2009, and two more in 2012.

After countless phone calls with our Waslala staff over the last few years, I finally got to meet the voices I had come to know so well. For those of you who might not know, we currently employ four staff in Waslala: Iain, a US expat who works as our coordinator and project manager; Virginia, our Waslalan community organize; Denis, our water system technician; and Wil, our admin and accountant. Here’s a photo of the team:

The Waslala team: Iain, Denis, Virginia, and Wil

For much of the trip, I shadowed our team as we traveled out into the rural Waslalan communities where we implement water projects. Here’s what I observed:

Iain and Virginia with the water committee of Santa Maria Kubali

Iain is trusted, respected, and well liked by the Waslalan people, and is exceptionally good at too many things to count.

Virginia seems to be beloved by every person living in Waslala, and has excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which makes her very effective in organizing and training community members to build, maintain, and use a water system or household filter properly.

Denis working on a stream crossing in Yaro Central

And Denis has become expert in his work building the myriad components of a water system without the need for oversight or correction.

In short, our team is top caliber and doing an excellent job turning Water for Waslala mission into reality on the ground. Seeing the growth and improvement of Water for Waslala over the last three years, manifested most clearly in our staff, made me very proud and energized to continue raising the money we need to continue helping the people of Waslala.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll be hiring 3-4 new staff in Waslala to continue improving our delivery model in Waslala and to begin scaling our work at a much faster pace. If we can find staff as talented as the ones we currently employ, then the only limits to what we can achieve will be the amount of dollars we can raise every year!

I’ll write more on our plans for growth in Waslala in a separate post. For now, enjoy the pictures from our trip, and thank you for supporting the life-changing work we are doing in Waslala!



  1. […] our fantastic local team, our approach is based on the foundation of community ownership. When a community applies to work […]

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