The Mexico Team members completed an assessment trip in January 2010, and a second assessment trip was conducted in December 2010/January 2011. During our time there the team investigated the operations of the chlorinator at the community deep well/pumping station and mapped the water distribution system that is shared among five small villages near La Salitrera.
During the January 2010 assessment trip the team was able to conduct a community assessment by interviewing individual households. The interview included questions about hygiene, schooling, water storage capacity, water source location, waste disposal practices, and the price each household was willing to pay for clean water as well as additional questions. The team also identified the community’s water sources. The sources were then sampled and several water quality tests were performed such as coliform, alkalinity, and heavy metals. An important result of the trip was integrating the team into the community, through staying with community members, and gaining an understanding of the needs present in the community. The team has two YouTube videos and a photo gallery summarizing the team’s experience in January.
There are many potential projects in La Salitrera which include new Storage tank for water system, developing water treatment systems, installing water level indicators in storage tanks, installing and educating the community about water filters/solar ovens, assessment and improvement of the water distribution system, further education on dry latrines, and designing a foot bridge to unite the community during the rainy season.
We are partnering with Choice Humanitarian to work in La Salitrera. CHOICE is based in Salt Lake City, and we are working directly with their office in Irapuato, Mexico. CHOICE in Mexico is lead by Juan Alducin. We plan to travel in December 2011 to conduct an another assessment trip.
Team Mexico is planning on traveling to La Salitrera this January over winter break to (1) install water levels in their water system storage tanks, (2) teach local families how to build biosand filters to purify their water, and (3) educating community members on the proper use of dry latrines. This semester, team Mexico is preparing to travel by submitting reports to EWB Nationals and locating water level suppliers. Contact Karen Nielson, email@example.com, to get involved or donate.
We completed our previous project (May 25-June 7, 2008) at the Gabriel House in Maneadero, Mexico.