Caliche is a remote village located in the muddy, mountainous middle of Honduras. The 300 or so people who live there use milky-looking water collected a hole in the ground and a cement tank for drinking, bathing and washing clothes.

Caliche is a remote village located in the muddy, mountainous middle of Honduras. The 300 or so people who live there use milky-looking water collected a hole in the ground and a cement tank for drinking, bathing and washing clothes.

Now, however, that water will become potable for about a third of those families, thanks to Upper Arlington High School senior Mitchell White.

In January, White sold villagers more than two dozen Tulip Water Filters for $2.50 each (they actually cost White $15), the equivalent of a couple of weeks of work for the average person in Caliche.

"When you sell something, they take more ownership of it, versus if it's free, they don't value it as much," White said.

At a medical clinic held in the village church, Spanish-speaking White demonstrated to the people how easily the filters worked by taking dirty water in a bucket and siphoning it to another bucket as 99-percent pure drinking water. He sold out of filters, and now has a waiting list.

It was the fifth time White has been to the Central American nation to help the needy with medical assistance and building homes through the Xenia, Ohio-based organization Heart to Honduras.

"We are very thankful for Mitch," said Gordon Garrett, president of Heart to Honduras. "He has really taken to heart the focus of the vision of our ministry to serve the poor, to help provide sustainable projects that make a long-term difference for the people of Honduras.

"Just by providing clean water for multiple families up there - truly only the Lord knows what impact that will have on the health of children and families in years to come."

"From going on all these trips, I've developed a passion for the people," White said. "For what little that they have, they are very thankful. One thing that I've noticed is that they really are in a dire need of clean water."

White raised funds, purchase the filters from overseas and packed them in the basement of the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church to take to Honduras. He and other Heart to Honduras members took a four-hour cattle truck ride to get to Caliche.

"If it's rained recently, you have to canoe a river and hike up to it," White said. "That's why they have such limited resources, because no mission teams really want to travel there. Recently, the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church made them a sister church, and so hopefully more teams will be able to go down there now."

The college-bound student is using the experience for his Capstone Project, but White hopes to continue to provide water filters for Hondurans, "partly because I love doing it, partly because I love Honduras. It's a resume-builder and it's something I enjoy doing."

His mother, Jennifer White, is a pediatrician who has taken 20 trips to Honduras herself.

"Because I've been going a number of years, I've taken all three of my sons with me starting in eighth grade," Jennifer White said. "They're mature enough to go at that age."

She said Mitchell saw all the dysentery, scabies, impetigo and other problems associated with not having clean water. She said he determined that the least expensive way to solve the problem was with the Tulip Water Filter.

"I'm just really proud of Mitchell that he saw a need, he looked at the options, brainstormed, tackled a problem, figured it out and got it done," Jennifer White said. "It's been fun, but I'm glad to get the filters out of my basement. I'm glad to have them where they can be used."

For more information, visit www.hth.org/2011 and type "tulip" under search.