After breakfast, we set off to the community of El Junquillo, where Global Brigades was building this water system. The design plan for the system was something like this. A well would be drilled and mated to a pump system. The water from the well would be pumped through a network of pipes laid about 2 feet underground to a water reservoir tank at one of the highest elevations of the community. After the water is treated and tested, gravity would distribute the water from the tank to the houses. The idea was that the pump would only have to be turned on several hours a week.
To kick off our tour of El Junquillo, we were brought to the top of the mountain where the reservoir was going to be placed. They showed us the line where the trenches for the pipe would be dug and a stake where the tank would be built. When we got back to the bottom, they showed us where the well would be built and the tool they’d be using to dig, a large red truck with a towering shaft and drill.
After lunch we split into two groups to do house tours. This gives us an opportunity to observe the way the local community members do their day to day tasks. We were very grateful that two community members volunteered to show their homes to us. The homes several rooms ranging from a living area with hammocks, bedroom, and kitchen. One thing that confused us was that there were two ovens in the kitchen. Our host explained to us that a previous volunteer group came to their community and installed newer eco ovens. The problem with the old ovens was that it filled the entire house with smoke which can lead to numerous health issues. The newer ovens had a vent that brought all the smoke outside and heats the oven more efficiently.
- Allen Kim, Brigadier