El Salvador benefiting from clean water projects

| March 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

For 37 years, Operation Rice Bowl has called Catholics to pray with their families and faith communities, fast in solidarity with those who hunger, learn about the worldwide challenges of poverty, and give sacrificial contributions to those in need. The program ensures that Catholic Relief Services can continue to fund vital programs to those in need in more than 100 countries.

Nearly 14,000 par­ishes, schools and faith communities across the United States participate in the program annually as a way to foster solidarity with the poor around the world. CRS will use 75 percent of the gifts received to provide assistance around the globe, and 25 percent of the collection will remain in this archdiocese to support local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts.

CRS and its partners work with the poorest farm families and communities, as well as with laborers, the landless, communities suffering from HIV and AIDS, and victims of manmade and natural disasters worldwide. The agency works in many isolated, remote areas with harsh climates and fragile, degraded ecosystems.

In each issue during Lent, The Catholic Spirit is sharing CRS’ work through a personal story of someone who has benefited from one of their programs and a recipe from a country that agency serves. Vietnam and Zambia were highlighted previously, and India will be featured in the next issue.

Spotlight on El Salvador

My name is María Idalia Serrano, and I live with my husband and four children in El Pedregal, El Salvador.

For most of my life, my days revolved around collecting water. I went back and forth to the river five times each day to get water for cooking, cleaning and drinking. I never thought about whether this water was safe to drink. We did not have a choice. Water from the river was all we had.

A few years ago, CRS helped build a well in my village. Now 130 families in El Pedregal have faucets that bring clean water right to our homes.

Instead of traveling back and forth to the river, I can spend more time with my children, to watch and guide them.

CRS also taught us to use water-purifying pills to make sure that our water is safe to drink.

Now, my husband and I volunteer with CRS in our community. We teach our neighbors that using purified water can help prevent health problems.

Everyone has the right to clean, safe drinking water. Water is everything; water is health.

El Salvador: Casamiento

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained, liquid reserved
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked rice

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add the drained beans, some of the reserved bean liquid, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the rice. Cook mixture over low to medium heat until warmed through. Adjust seasonings and add a little more liquid from the beans, if necessary. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

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Category: Lent