The first week in January brought two all-day rains to Laguna Sulti, and a long-awaited reprieve from the severe drought that plagued this community, as well as nearly all others throughout Bolivia’s Cochabamba Valley over the past year. By January 5th, the reservoir was 2/3 full! The water level has reached about 3 feet from the overflow channel which guides water back into the Laguna Sulti River.

Laguna Sulti reservoir, nearly 2/3 with water in early January 2024

During 2023, there was no rainy season. The Laguna Sulti reservoir, which had brought food security and economic vitality to the region, yielded enough flow-in water to support minimal yields. But its farmers worried that another year without rain could make it impossible for them to raise enough food to feed their families.  

Laguna Sulti reservoir with no water, November 2023
Mano a Mano meets regularly with the communities we partner with – Laguna Sulti, December 2023

Now that the reservoir holds ample water for the 2024 growing season, grateful farmers have begun to perform their gratitude rituals, burning incense, and burying a preserved llama fetus.

The community of Mamanaca performed this ritual during the dedication of their deep water well with Mano a Mano in March 2023, which we wrote about here.

Given the continued summer school vacation (classes resume in February), children also celebrated by taking a break from farm chores to swim in the reservoir.

Swimming in the Laguna Sulti reservoir, early January 2024

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