Team Mexico - May 2015
On May 9, 2015, EWB-USU's Mexico team flew from Salt Lake City, UT to Mexico. They then traveled by bus to Guanajuato, where they later met with CHOICE humanitarian representatives. The team settled in different community houses and collected water samples from all the existing biosand filters in order to start testing water quality. The team separated the sand for filter construction. Together with community members, they sieved and washed the sand.
Team Mexico collecting sand with the locals
Team Mexico continued to gather more water samples from the houses that already had biosand filters and performed more quality testing on the filter influent and effluent water. At the same time, the team and other community members prepared the inner cardboard tubes to be used in construction to help them learn the construction process. They demonstrated the setup for them and answered any questions the locals had.
To maximize the amount of aid they could give in the short time, the team split up. The first group went to La Campana and checked the equipment with the pozeros and the representatives from Disime. After revising the equipment and assuring its complete functionality this group went to a nearby clinic outside of La Salitrera with representatives of the NGO CHOICE and explained to nurses in the community about the importance and benefits of using the biosand filters.
Shoveling sand for the filters
The EWB Mexico team gathered all the community members that owned/would own a biosand filter and gave a general education class. Owners asked questions, as well as a good understanding of and competencies in the filters' use. During the rest of the day, some of team members gathered more sand and gravel for the last two filters, while the rest made more visits to the houses that owned biosand filters to gather testing samples.
Once again, the team split into four smaller groups to optimize aid: Groups 1 and 2 poured two separate filters. Group 3 filled the filters with the washed sand and gravel with help from community members. Group 4 went to all the houses with biosand filters to leave new educational material with them and to explain proper biosand filter use and maintenance.
After a week of successfully implementing biosand filters, Team Mexico returned home.