Ana María


Field Note #214

Ana María Gonzalez was recently hired as the field coordinator for Wine To Water Colombia! National Program Manager Jhonny Anderson was able to share with us the story of how Ana María’s inception with Wine To Water came to be. This is their story.


In June of 2018, Wine To Water Colombia realized the need for a field coordinator to facilitate their current work while also bringing clean water to new communities. Colombia National Program Manager Jhonny Anderson traveled to the jungles of the Amazon to find this new field coordinator. He conducted several interviews and received several resumes, but no one seemed to be the right fit.

Throughout this process, Jhonny met a group of men who did social work in a local community near the Amazon river. Upon running into them a second time the following week, he noticed a young woman who was accompanying them. Her name was Ana María, and he had heard of her desire to work closely with the Colombian people in need. Discreetly, Jhonny approached her to learn more about her and immediately realized that she just might be the person Wine To Water was looking for.

Already in the area to conduct Sawyer Filter presentations, Jhonny invited Ana María to come along. From the moment the young woman arrived at the demonstration, she was actively engaging with the technology and people around her.

She did not hesitate to help me with everything I asked her, every time I became more convinced that she was a good candidate.
— Jhonny Anderson

After the filter presentation, Jhonny informed her about the field coordinator position. In addition, he invited her to visit several communities so that she could become more familiar with the work before applying. Ana María followed the team as an opportunity to evaluate her own skills. With the help of Training and Evaluation Manager Shane Hillman, Ana María was able to learn the practices and values of Wine To Water before she finally accepted the position.

Ana María with the local children of Chineria.

Ana María with the local children of Chineria.

Ana María is primarily responsible for visiting our largest number of communities and jump-starting the best possible education plans for each area. Part of this process looks like implementing Water User Group Committees, conducting filter follow-ups, meeting with the community leaders, and making surveys about basic water and hygiene needs.

That might sound like a straightforward and easy job, but it is anything but. Wine To Water Colombia is working with more than 30 communities, 12 of which are almost finished with the first development phase. The second phase consists of a series of educational workshops, varying between seven or eight sessions depending on specific needs. There is so much work to be done in many different areas, and Ana María is eagerly taking on all of it to advance the mission of Wine To Water.

I have seen Ana leading the filter workshops and other workshops related to hygiene and I see how she easily connects with [the recipients], because it goes beyond the water or the project.
— Jhonny Anderson
Ana María in Puerto Alegria!

Ana María in Puerto Alegria!

Ana María spends most of her time sharing life with the people of the Amazon, engaging in meaningful conversation and building relationships based on trust and genuine care. Her love for those she serves and partners with in the field is evident not only in her passion for her work, but for the powerful outcomes that go so much deeper than clean water.

Wine To Water is always happy to reflect on the individual journeys that have brought our team together. We are so grateful for staff members like Ana María and Jhonny Anderson who tirelessly work for the betterment and empowerment of others through the power of clean water.

Our community is constantly growing, and we are so thrilled that you are a part of it as well.

Carsyn Bernhardt

Writing Fellow

AmazonCarsyn Bernhardt