Students walk on for Waslala water this weekend

Alessandro Roco

This year’s third annual Water Weekend sponsored by Water for Waslala will take place this weekend with an aim of exceeding 400 walkers for its Walk for Water and a goal of raising over $20,000.

The weekend will kick off tomorrow evening with a concert that will cost $5 to attendees in the Belle Aire Terrace featuring Braddigan from the hit alternative-rock group, Dispatch.

The Water Weekend will end on Sunday with its annual walk, starting at the Oreo.

After a service break trip to Waslala, Nicaragua in 2004, Villanova students, led by alumnus Matt Nespoli, founded Water for Wasala.

The organization is run completely by Villanova alumni and students and funded by the Augustinian Volunteers based out of Philadelphia.

Water for Waslala is a project dedicated to providing potable water systems for the poor region of Waslala.

Carolyn Gusick, a senior mechanical engineering major, has traveled to Waslala twice and has developed a water system for a rural community of Waslala as her senior design project for engineering. As the director of student outreach and the only student on the board of directors, her major goals are to raise funds for the water systems and to increase awareness for social justice both on and off campus.

“It is intended to foster a greater awareness of global poverty across the country in an effort to form a bridge of understanding and solidarity between the community of Waslala and the greater American community,” Gusick wrote in an e-mail.

Gusick recently started an on-campus student group dedicated to promoting Water for Waslala and to raise funds for the water systems.

“I am extremely excited and indebted to the students that have shown passion and dedication to this project,” Gusick said. “Currently there are about 20 students involved, with more and more joining every day.

“We have successfully run fundraisers on campus, including participating in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2006, documentary viewings and presented to various classes and groups on campus to raise awareness of the world water crisis and our efforts,” Gusick added.

Currently in its third year of operation, Water for Waslala is looking to expand its mission to New York.

To date, Water for Waslala has built eight water systems that serve clean water everyday to nearly 2,000 inhabitants of Waslala. Waslala, an impoverished community in central Nicaragua, consists of an urban core and 85 surrounding rural communities, comprising over 45,000 inhabitants in total.