On Monday, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our mentor for the project, Professor John Durant. Professor Durant has been involved with the El Salvador group of EWB for many years, and oversaw the successful implementation project in Arada Vieja a few years ago. We’re excited to have him here to get his perspective on the community and its project! Mike picked Durant up from the airport and we were able to meet him at one of Mike’s friends house. We got him caught up on our progress as we drove back to San Jose Villanueva and continued our discussion of possible future projects well into the night.
On Tuesday, Professor Durant helped Jesse, Rob, Roxanne and Jake to continue surveying in El Porvenir. Together we hypothesized solutions to the water problem encountered in El Porvenir.
Luke, and Ariel broke off from the rest of the group, and traveled around the community conducting surveys in an effort to obtain a quantitative estimate of the community’s total water demand. The rest of the group stayed around the existing water source to collect more data that we will need to assess the project. All was going well down by the spring box until Jake discovered a giant spider inches from his face as he was measuring the inside dimensions of the existing spring box! He did not run around screaming like a little girl and he probably won’t be having nightmares tonight about giant tarantulas 😉
When Luke and Ariel returned, the group spoke with Don Chepe and Jesus Antonio, and discussed with them some of our preliminary solution ideas. Our current idea is to build a new spring box at a secondary water source that was discovered upstream from the existing spring box. Don Chepe, and Jesus both thought that this idea would be feasible and acceptable in the community. They are excited about the progress we have made and are actively participating in the development of the project.
Jesse, Rob, Roxanne, Ariel and Professor Durant finished the day in Porvenir by collecting hydrology data necessary to ensure that our design will be resistant to the flow of the river during the wet season.
After returning home and dropping off our equipment we were taken to see the community of Santa Maria, where water is abundantly flowing from three different sources at the base of a large hill. We spoke with the community leaders who explained their vision of pumping this water seventy meters up the hill to a large storage tank, and eventually distributing it throughout the town so that every family will have a sufficient and accessible source of water. Although the scope of this project seems very big compared to our previous projects, it generated a lot of excitement amongst the group. We see the project in Santa Maria as a great opportunity for future work for Tufts EWB.