Called to Quench the Thirst of Christ

As he hung on the cross, Jesus cried out, “I thirst!” In impoverished communities around the world, about 780 million people are struggling to quench their own thirst. Before the sun rises each day, women and children are already traversing great distances to reach shallow wells or polluted streams. In seasons of drought, they often dig into dry riverbeds and wait for filthy water to seep up from the ground.

Today, you can answer a similar cry by helping to quench the thirst of those who remain in desperate need. Empower our ministry partners and honor Jesus by blessing poor families with clean water.

Our Neighbors Need Help

Our poorest brothers and sisters desperately need reliable sources of safe, clean water. In rural areas of Nicaragua, for example, filthy latrines leak pollutants into the water supply, causing children to get sick and miss school. Their parents can also become too ill to work — and some may even die. Clean water will transform their lives.

Rise Against Thirst

Quench Thirst. Prevent Illness. Show Christ’s Love.

Cross Catholic Outreach is working to provide clean water — and sustainable change — around the world.

In Nicaragua, for instance, we will extend God’s love to villagers in a rural region of the country by building a new water system that will connect to 70 homes. This project will change the lives of about 292 people, ending their painful battle with waterborne illnesses and kidney disease. Your gift helps quench thirst in Nicaragua and in other suffering communities around the world.

Nicaragua’s Water Facts

Poor rural families in areas that lack basic infrastructure suffer from thirst, waterborne illnesses and unsanitary living conditions.

31% of rural areas lack improved water sources.

44% lack improved sanitation.

Kidney failure, often caused by dehydration, is the No. 2 cause of death in the country.

During the dry season, rural families struggle to find water. During the rainy season, their wells are at greater risk of contamination by pesticides, parasites and latrines.

Dirty Water Conundrum:
To Drink or Not to Drink?

Although the water from this hand-dug well looks clear, it is riddled with contaminants — including the runoff from nearby latrines!

Drinking this water causes serious illness. But not drinking it also has its risks. Kidney failure, often caused by dehydration, is the No. 2 cause of death in Nicaragua.

Learn more

Support Clean Water Projects Around the World

A Mother’s Agony

For many years, Francisca Soto struggled to raise her four children without access to clean water. As with most families in the village of La Danta Aseradores, Nicaragua, their only drinking source was a hand-dug well filled with pesticides and parasites.

“Emelyn has been sick from drinking that water,” Francisca said, referring to her daughter. “She would get sick with vomiting and diarrhea from parasites.”

With your help, we worked with our ministry partner to provide Francisca’s community with a safe new water system — but millions of villagers are still suffering the painful consequences of water scarcity. Your prayers and Lenten gift will bless families such as Francisca’s who remain in dire need.


Our Plan for Transformation

Funding water systems that will connect homes to clean, abundant water.

Training and equipping local leaders helps inspire and encourage their communities to make lasting, positive change.

Providing hygiene and health education to communities as well as funding for medical screenings for bacteria, parasites and kidney disease.

Clean Water Systems

A holistic, sustainable solution to rural Nicaragua’s water crisis

    Professionally drilled wells reaching as deep as 300 feet.

    Powerful electric pumps & large holding tanks.

    Filtration & chlorination to remove disease-causing contaminants.

    8 miles of PVC pipe reaching every household, & one school.

    One outdoor and one indoor faucet at each home.

•    24-hour water access, up to 350 gallons / day per family.

Professionally drilled wells reaching as deep as 300 feet.

Powerful electric pumps and large holding tanks.

Filtration and chlorination to remove disease-causing contaminants.

More than 8 miles of PVC pipe reaching every household, plus one school.

One outdoor and one indoor faucet at each home.

• 24-hour water access, up to as much as 350 gallons per day per family.


A torn tarp for privacy and no running water for washing or flushing. Pit latrines like this one are a source of the fecal contamination that makes people sick.


A sanitary, private bathroom with running water and a septic tank. Modern bathrooms dramatically improve a family’s health — and dignity. Clean. Safe. Private.

Leadership and Sustainability

Neighbors helping neighbors

Clean water and sanitation are just the first steps. When you support the ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach, you are working alongside the poor and rewarding communities’ efforts to solve their most urgent problems.

Hands-on labor

Able-bodied villagers help dig trenches to lay miles of PVC pipes, bringing clean water to their houses.

Shared Investment

Each family must agree to contribute a modest but symbolically important sum toward the cost of building the water system and bathrooms.

Health Education

Extensive education efforts prepare communities to practice good hygiene, properly use their new resource and prevent future contamination.

Water Committees

Local water committees, trained by our ministry partner, will ensure the project’s success and longevity.

Community Health

Addressing the sources of contaminated water

Education is essential. The poor need to learn the dangers of dirty water, how to protect children and families from illness, and how to maintain access to clean water for years to come. Community leaders play an important role. They not only train families in preventative health education but also collect urine and stool samples from family members in order to diagnose and treat parasites and kidney disease.

Support clean water projects around the world

Proven Transformation Strategy

Building faith, inspiring leaders and breaking generational cycles of poverty.

Cross Catholic Outreach and our local ministry partners are dedicated to community transformation. Forging relationships with rural communities and building on each success produces significant, community-wide change. Together, we can provide spiritual edification, leadership training, education for children, microenterprise opportunities and much more in Nicaragua and other underdeveloped countries around the world.

A Good Neighbor: Meet Licdariana

Licdariana is a dedicated, local leader. She grew up in a poor, rural community and knows firsthand the positive effects of clean water. Cross Catholic Outreach provided her community with a clean water system in 2018.

Now Licdariana works with our local ministry partner in Nicaragua as a promoter. In her role, she visits the homes of families to learn their needs, give encouragement, stimulate interest in participating in water and sanitation projects, and educate them on health and hygiene issues critical to their well-being.

The work of a promoter continues long after the water systems and modern bathrooms are installed. Licdariana will work with beneficiaries and their families to ensure lasting change occurs. This is done by setting small goals, such as keeping children in school and receiving regular medical attention. She will also help provide supplemental food, if needed.

Rise Against Thirst and Transform Lives

Join Cross Catholic Outreach in an outpouring of clean water and God’s love. Help fund sustainable water and sanitation solutions for poor communities in Nicaragua and around the world.

Understanding Poverty in Nicaragua

The water crisis is just one of many challenges faced by Nicaragua’s poor. Learn more about poverty in Nicaragua — and how Cross Catholic Outreach is responding — in the stories below.

Answer the Call

Learn how you can engage in projects serving the poor and their communities around the world.

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Cross Catholic Outreach

Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.