You Answered the Cry of Suffering Families

Our poor brothers and sisters in rural Nicaragua desperately need a reliable source for safe, clean water. Filthy latrines leak pollutants into their water supply, causing children to get sick and miss school. Their parents can also become too ill to work — and some even die from kidney failure.

You helped to fund 3 community water systems that, when fully complete, will bless 201 families with an abundant supply of safe water piped directly to their homes!

Your support also went toward the construction of 201 modern bathrooms, the provision of medical screenings and health education, and the training of local leadership — ensuring the upkeep of their new water supply and preventing diseases.

A Hero’s Story

Baudelio Armas Olivares was one of the first El Espabel residents to inspire and encourage his neighbors to embrace the opportunity for a new clean water system. He dreamed of a day when the people of El Espabel would finally have safe water, and he pursued that dream selflessly.


When the workers were ready to drill, they faced a problem: a lack of open land. El Espabel is a relatively dense community, hemmed in on all sides by commercial farms.

Concerned by the prospect that his family and friends might lose this chance to find water, Baudelio stepped up. He donated his own land for the drill site. Baudelio’s gift — a tremendous sacrifice for a man who had so little — allowed the work to move forward.

Then tragedy struck. Just days before the system was complete, Baudelio passed away. He died from the very illness that has claimed so many Nicaraguan lives and that this water system was installed to prevent: kidney disease.

It was heartbreaking to lose Baudelio, yet there was also cause to rejoice. He died knowing that his dream was coming true and that his wife, Reyna, and their children and grandchildren would at last be able to quench their thirst with clean, abundant water.

During the inauguration, the community honored Baudelio with a memorial placed under the 8,000-gallon water tank.

This water system is his legacy — and it will bring life and flourishing to El Espabel for generations to come thanks to the compassion of friends like you!

Fund Other Projects

Bless more families and help fund other critical outreaches worldwide.

The Pandemic and Rural Nicaragua

The past year brought many uncertainties. But one thing is clear: This pandemic highlights the extreme vulnerability of communities that lack modern water and sanitation. Slowing the spread is so much harder when your toilets are just holes in the ground and the water you use for bathing and hand-washing comes from a shallow well contaminated by parasites, bacteria, pesticides and human waste.

Remaining Flexible in an Unprecedented Time

Late spring 2020, our local ministry partner felt that, for the safety of its staff and the families it serves, it needed to suspend activities for a time. Construction in the communities of El Chaparral and La Danta Aserradores was placed on hold and the office was closed.

Our partner focused on providing COVID-19 relief in the form of food and hygiene supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer, bleach and masks.

Miracles Happen

Recently, our partner safely reopened its office and resumed visits to the communities with prevention measures in place.

Miracles are happening, and we are nearing our final goal of reaching 201 families with clean, safe, refreshing water. You made this possible, and we look forward to letting you know when all the work is complete.

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 their own unsanitary latrines.

The Crippling Effects of Drinking Dirty Water

Every day, 9-year-old Jahzeel Vega must fetch water from a hand-dug well. It’s infested with parasites and the water makes him sick, but the family must drink it anyway — because there is nothing else. Jahzeel must drink this contaminated water or go thirsty.

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 the country.

Sustainable Water and Sanitation Solution

Bringing hope and empowering communities to make lasting change

Cross Catholic Outreach delivers lasting transformation to these communities through improved health, better infrastructure, education support, economic development, community solidarity and Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Funding three water systems that will connect 201 homes to clean, abundant water and improve sanitation by building modern bathrooms for 201 families.

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

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

Water Systems and Modern Bathrooms

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

    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.

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.

Community Health

Long-term transformation requires a change in mindset and habits.

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.

Addressing the Source

To purify the water table — the source for wells being dug — we must eradicate one of the biggest causes of contamination: pit latrines. Each modern bathroom unit will empty into its own septic tank. As a result, disease-causing waste will not seep into the environment or contaminate drinking water.


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 give to this project, 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 to build 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.

Proven Transformation Strategy

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

Cross Catholic Outreach and our local ministry partner 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.

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 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, like keeping children in school and receiving regular medical attention. She will also help provide supplemental food, if needed.

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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.

Get the latest news and updates on how we’re transforming the poor and their communities.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.