Angela works in the Asunción medical office. It is a small, white structure with a tidy front desk area. When we arrived in Asunción, looking for Diego Barros, we stopped at the office and asked the two women chatting outside. One of those women was Angela, she had seen Diego’s truck go by on his way out of the community earlier that morning and became interested in the project.
During our interview, she shared with me how life in general in their community was losing many precious aspects. In earlier years, holiday celebrations would last days on end and the whole community would come together to celebrate. As I asked her more about water she told me the amplitude of the impacts the loss of the river and other water sources had had. As the river, the lake, and the climate dried, so did their agricultural sustenance, their livestock. These losses were not only losses for their own food sources, but economic sustenance as well.
“Tenemos agua para tomar pero el tema del agua acá en Lavalle es que toda el agua tiene arsénico. Y el arsénico es una sustancia que te va dañando muchísimo sin que te des cuenta”
“We have water to drink but the problem with the water here in Lavalle is that all the water contains arsenic. And the arsenic is a substance that has strong negative effects without you realizing it.”