Family holds fundraiser to build well in Central American villag - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Family holds fundraiser to build well in Central American village


A local teen is closer to her goal of building a well in an impoverished Central American village, thanks to a successful fundraiser Saturday.

Joanna Hansen,14, of Racine, and her family raised about $3,500 during a fundraiser at Kathy's Pub in Rochester -- where there was a silent auction, a ticket drawing, and free-will donations.

The family had previously raised about $13,000. The money will go toward Joanna's goal of funding the construction of a well in the village of Altamira in Guatemala.

"People live in extreme poverty. They have a small school they can send their children to. But they don't have many jobs. And they're living in buildings that I wouldn't really describe as a house. It's more of a shack or something. It's made out of sticks and plastic bags and whatever pieces of garbage and discarded materials they can find," said Joanna.

The 350 families living in Altamira have no source of clean water, unless a local mission group trucks the water to them. So Joanna is trying to raise $19,000 to fly to Guatemala and cover the cost of drilling a well. 

"Once they have clean water, they won't be sick as much. They'll be able to get their children to school. Once in school, they'll get a good education. Then, they'll be able to get a job where they can support their future families," said Joanna.

Joanna is working with a humanitarian organization called "World Help." She said she needs to raise all the money by April 20.

Joanna hopes to fly to Altamira with her mother and friends in June.

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