Project Gettysburg Leon (PGL) has been the sister city program between Gettysburg and Nicaragua since 1986, meaning almost three and a half decades of cross-culture experience and assistance to the western hemisphere’s second-poorest country. In this first year of a new decade, there are four words to describe the work we’re doing: Water, Agriculture, Arts and Education.

Last year, PGL raised the funds for a potable drinking water project in the rural community of Talolinga. There were delays for reasons that at times have been absurd, such as the Nicaraguan government not letting the project go forward without an official name. An official name such as Talolinga Water Project is not allowed. Two separate application were turned down because the community chose names like “The Justice & Peace Water Board of Talolinga,” when other communities already had the words justice and peace in their names. However, we are past all the bureaucratic hurdles and hope to begin this water project. None of these delays were the fault of the community, nor has there been any change in the great need for clean drinking water in Talolinga. The community will provide the volunteer labor for the project, and their only question has been “When can we start?”

Greg Bowles is the current director for Project Gettysburg Leon, the sister city program between Gettysburg and the country of Nicaragua that was founded in 1986.

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