Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weather Forecast for Piura, Peru...15 More Days of Rain

The weather forecast for Piura and Catacaos doesn't look good right now. 15 more days of rain is expected. Please select the link below to see the catastrophe in that area.

Three links to YouTube:

Human Right to Safe Drinking Water as Addressed by Pope Francis

Pope Francis addressed the Vatican Conference on February 24, on the human right to safe and good quality water. Please click this link for his address.

The Connecting Hearts and Hands with Peru, a Catholic Christian committee at St. Paul Parish in Genesee, WI,  is working with a school in Paita, Peru, run by the School Sisters of St. Francis.

There has been a natural disaster in the state of Piura, Peru, due to the rains and flooding. See prior posts on this blog.  We have been asked to provide Berkey water purifiers, to families in this region.

Please read the blogpost "Go Fund Me Fundraiser for Water Purification" below to donate to this awesome fundraiser. This fundraiser is trying to raise money for water purifiers. We were hoping this fundraiser would raise $2,500 and provide 25-30 Berkey water purifiers.

I have good news. A donor has come forward and will match this GO FUND ME fundraiser, up to $2,500. If this fundraiser raises $2,500, we will have $5,000, enough money to buy 50-60 Berkey systems. 

Please pray for a successful fundraiser!

More Rain and Flooding in Peru

The El NiƱo weather pattern has caused a warming of the water in the Pacific Ocean
on the coast of Peru. In July, 2015, the Peruvian government predicted that their country would be struck by flooding due to this weather pattern.

According to the Golf Times, "El Nino is triggered by a change in wind speed across the Pacific. The prevailing winds usually flow from east to west, which pushes the warm surface waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean towards Indonesia. This allows cool water to well up around the coast of South America. The cool water is rich in nutrients and fish, providing rich pickings for the Peruvian fishing industry. During an El Nino year, however, the winds, which blow along the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, ease. Why this happens is unclear, but it can have dramatic effects. The warm water sloshes back towards South America, which hides the nutrient-rich cold waters and ensures fish are in short supply."

There is a lack of fish in Paita, Peru, right now. This is due to warming waters; the cold water fish moved to cooler waters in the Pacific Ocean, far out of reach from the Paita fishing boats. Packing plants have closed and there has been a complete collapse of the Peruvian fishing industry in this area of Peru.

The rains and flooding in the state of Piura has been devastating to the people in this region. Please select one of the links below for more information about the flooding in Peru.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Go Fund Me Fundraiser for Water Purification

Miranda Spindt, a 16-year-old from Genesee, WI, and St. Paul Parish, has been active with the "Connecting Hearts and Hands with Peru" committee since 2014. Miranda is bilingual. In 2014 and 2016, she helped the medical team by being a translator for them. She also became involved with Berkey water purification in 2016 when she trained families on using the water purification system and distributed 50 systems to families in Paita.

Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said. To continue giving aid to our brothers and sisters in Peru, a team from St. Paul Parish, Genesee Depot, will be going to Peru in July, installing 30 Berkey water purification systems, to help families receive clean water. Due to the flooding, water is contaminated with all sorts of pathogens.  Miranda is doing a private fundraiser on gofundme. Please select the link below to donate to her fundraising campaign.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Flooding in Paita, Peru

We have been notified by Sister Monica, Director of St. Clare School, that Paita has had its worse flooding ever. Many families enrolled at the school have been affected by this destructive flood. Peru's Civil Defense reported that heavy rain fell for 30 hours beginning the evening of January 30. There were 340 homes completely destroyed and 16,800 homes flooded, displacing around 2,545 people. Sister Monica stated that the PRONOEI preschool was also damaged by the rain. The roof needs major repairs and the fencing around the school has been destroyed and needs to be replaced. Please pray for our friends in Peru so that they may receive the financial help needed to give them relief from this disaster.

More rains have occurred in March, as well. Due to the continued rains in Paita, the school year will begin on April 3. AccuWeather has a link stating that was posted on March 21, 2017, stating that more flooding is anticipated. Here is their link.

Here are some pictures of the flooding.
Basketball Court at St. Clare School

Streets Around the PRONOEI School

Streets Around the PRONOEI School

You're Invited to Serve Others!

We're planning our 5th trip to St. Clare School in Paita, Peru!

If you love working with children, you'll enjoy partaking in this mission trip. We'll be working closely with the school children...singing, teaching and playing games. We will also connect with the families in the community by providing Berkey water purification systems to them.

The trip dates are July 10-19. Interested? Please contact Deb at

From Guatemala to Peru...What Next?

In 1992, St. Paul Parish was one of the first Catholic parishes in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to establish a sister parish relationship in Guatemala. We were involved with a parish in the colony Juana de Arco in  Zone 18, Guatemala City. Thanks to Len Grassmann, our pastoral associate at that time, and Sister Marietta Hanus from the School Sisters of St. Francis (SSSF),  for helping St. Paul Parish nurture that relationship for 20 years. As the violence kept on increasing in Guatemala, there were concerns about the safety of our missionaries traveling to Guatemala.. Sister Matilde, who had worked in the SSSF Development office in Guatemala City, was moving back to Peru and no one was taking her place. We wanted to continue our relationship with the School Sisters of St. Francis (SSSF) in Milwaukee. We asked Sister Matilde where our parish was most needed. Without hesitation, she said, "St. Clare School in Paita, Peru".  Sr. Matilde and God led us to Paita, Peru in 2013 and that's how it all began.

Our annual involvement:

  • 2013 - Three delegates travel to Paita, Peru to gather information of the needs in Peru
  • 2014 - First Medical mission trip
  • 2015 - Milwaukee School of Engineering tested the city water and installed 25 Berkey water systems.
  • 2016 - Second medical mission trip

What next? Sister Monica, director of St. Clare School, has given us several suggestions. 

  • There's a great need for dental care. Many of the people have decayed and abscessed teeth. In order for a dental team provide services, dental chairs and supplies must be acquired and sent to Peru prior to the team arriving. We hope to acquire these necessary supplies and form a team for a trim in 2018. 
  •  Walking with the students at St. Clare School - The students would like to have visitors. This visit will build relationships.
  • Continue providing clean water to those with contaminated water
Our medical team is planning a trip to Peru in 2019.