SAN ANTONIO DE LOURDES, Mexico — In the dappled shade of mesquite trees by the side of a pale yellow schoolhouse, the children finished a song and waited for the priest’s blessing.
The Rev. Juan Carlos Zesati began with a gentle exhortation, citing Pope Francis. “Water is part of God’s creation,” he said as he traced the connection from God to the earth, to life, to community and ultimately to every individual. “We have to respect that connection.”
But the well in San Antonio de Lourdes, a village in Guanajuato State in central Mexico, went dry years ago. The village itself, depleted by poverty and migration, seems to be drying up, too, and only 29 children are left in the primary school. But a half-hour’s drive away, fertile farms pump water from deep underground to irrigate fields that grow broccoli and lettuce for American supermarkets.