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Service in which you lose yourself -- and also find yourself

It was during a 2008 stay at Explorama Lodges that Jan DeBlieu and her husband Jeffrey Smith DeBlieu saw and were impressed by CONAPAC's community water treatment plant projects. The combination of assistance with planning and problem solving, plant operator training, and complete community buy-in is “a model for how to do it right,” says Jan. After returning home they began making donations for water treatment plants in CONAPAC partner villages and continue to do so year after year.
In 2009 Jan and Jeff lost their only son. "In the aftermath our lives had seemed utterly pointless. Slowly, however, I realized I wanted to honor our son by helping other people in lasting ways. I wanted to find my own form of Seva, a Sanskrit word that means the kind of service in which you lose yourself--and also find yourself."

"I set out to examine the differences between the charities that do the best work and those that make only superficial improvements in people’s lives." Her research revealed that, world wide, 70% of water facilities built by charitable groups fail within five years due to the lack of continued partnerships. "My journey took me throughout the U.S., to a poor corner of Mexico and finally to Peru, where the nonprofit group CONAPAC works with residents downstream from the jungle city of Iquitos.” See The Huffington Post 8/1/2014 for the full article. She returned to Peru in 2012 to observe CONAPAC's water treatment plant building project in the village of Auca Cocha.
Still on that journey, Jan is nearing completion of a book about her own path and that of groups and individuals world wide who are living the way of Seva. CONAPAC is included. And so is Sintia, our Project Manager & Donor/Volunteer Coordinator.
Jan is not a stranger to writing and investigative literature. She has published several books on natural history topics. Titles include Hatteras Journal, Meant to Be Wild, Wind, and Year of the Comets. You can find out more about Jan and read more of what she has to say at: and on her Facebook page:
Since 2009 the University of Colorado has worked with CONAPAC to evaluate water treatment plant operations in communities along the Amazon and Napo rivers. Students Amanda Connell and Anne Wrobetz from CU Boulder are both pursuing master's degrees in Environmental Engineering for Developing Communities through the University's Mortenson Center. As part of their Sustainable Community Development Practicum, Amanda and Anne are working with students from UNAP (Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana) and with CONAPAC employees to measure various water quality parameters. They are also conducting surveys of both plant operators and household members regarding water treatment and use in the communities.

Two and a half weeks into the project, Amanda and Anne have been able to collect data from 12 unique communities and will complete three more before returning home. Overall, the findings have been very positive, with a vast majority of village members consuming water that is both affordable and safe to drink. The ultimate goal of the project is to find specific areas in which CONAPAC can focus future training and effort. We are hopeful that this partnership will continue into the future, allowing CONAPAC to extend its reach in providing clean water to the people of the Amazon.
Jan DeBlieu, Amanda Connell, and Anne Wrotbetz are a few of the many faces of CONAPAC who are committed to the support of projects in the rainforest. Community clean water systems are just one aspect of CONAPAC's work. Check our website help page to find out what you can do.

We are partnered with Pack for a Purpose to better assist you with a suggested list of donations that you can carry down. If you find yourself traveling to the Amazon rainforest and staying with Explorama Lodges, take a look at their site.



CONAPAC has been been providing access to clean water in the Peruvian rainforest since 2008. Our Family Water Project places Sawyer PointONE™ water filtration systems in individual homes in smaller communities where a large water treatment plant is impractical.

A gift of $195 will supply one household.
To find out more and to learn how you can contribute, visit:

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CONAPAC is a Peruvian non-profit organization whose mission is to promote conservation of the rainforest through education of its stewards, the people who live along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. Our centerpiece project is the Adopt-A-School program, which is strengthened by workshops and complemented by service and sustainable projects in river communities.
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