Isla Cordoncillo forms the northern shore of the anchorage in Bahia del Sol. The island is home to 270 people, 160 of which are children. It is devoid of all services such as water, sewage, electricity, etc. Whatever the people need they have to provide for themselves. One important and basic necessity is access to clean drinking water. 

Every family has to transport plastic containers to the mainland and buy the water with what little money they have.  Ground water is available in some areas on the island but it is not safe to drink due to the lack of proper sewage disposal and other factors. Even rainwater is suspect because of the way it is collected and stored.

Cruisers are always interested in helping those around us, we can’t help it, and we just have to get involved.  In 2012 the rally launched a project called “Just Water” to provide clean water for the island families by giving each family a water filtering system. We accomplished this goal during the 2012 rally and have a few replacement filters on hand but we will always have an on going need for replacement filters which runs about $1,200 per year.

If you feel that this is something you would like to get involved with you can help by donating any amount through our PayPal account (a replacement filter costs about $17).  With the money we purchase the filters and have them shipped to a US address to wait for someone who is flying to El Salvador so they can bring the filters with them.  We do this because shipping directly is too expensive.  We do not have a large fancy organization to accomplish this.  We rely on the good hearts and minds of cruisers.

Below you can read how we managed the project.

Off to distribute water filters

March, 2012 - Months of effort by everyone finally began to pay off today in El Salvador.  Jan Turner, who lives on the island completed a census of the island so we could be sure that everyone received a filter system.  She also organized the population to purchase their own buckets for the system.  David and Rebecca Kilmer from the sailboat Liberte brought filters with them to El Salvador and Miguel Merino, a Salvadorian who lives in New Jersey,  also brought down some filters. 

Miguel & Jean

Jan Turner

Some of the locals left their buckets at Jan's house for us to install the filters but most waited for us to arrive at their homes to make the system.  Our little team consisted of Jean and myself, David Kilmer, John Joiner from the sailboat Contento, Jan Turner, and Miguel Merino.

Miguel, David, John, & Bill

The process was pretty easy, we drilled a couple of holes in the buckets, applied a rally sticker to the side of one of them and presto... a water filter system was born!  Jan and Miguel explained to each family how to care for the system.  In a few hours distributed about 12 systems.  Next week we will distribute more.

Miguel explaining how to use the system

Just on of the 68 or so families on the island.

We want to thank everyone for their involvement in this important project.