Tuesday, March 10 – First Site Visit

Today we woke up at 7am to a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, beans, and cheese wrapped in a tortilla, plus fresh watermelon, papaya, banana, and white pineapple. Fresh fruit is always one of my favorite aspects of going abroad!

After breakfast, we travelled ~40min to the site of the water project. The second half of the drive was bumpy and slow…the road was mostly dirt and rocks. The area we were driving to is called Los Hatillos, and is pretty rural, with a few different communities scattered throughout. Most of the homes have a decent amount of land where they house their chickens, pigs, cattle, horses, etc.

Where we parked for our hike up to the dam.

Where we parked for our hike up to the dam.

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Some of the cows we encountered along the way. Notice the dry, rocky ground.

Once we parked, we hiked another 20 min to the site of the dam and reservoir that had already been constructed by Global Brigades. We walked along the portion of the pipeline that had already been built, and Marco explained the engineering to us. This portion of the pipeline is galvanized iron, with a 4-in. diameter and a gravitational flow. Once complete, the entire pipeline will be 14km long, and it will support a 20,000gpd flow rate to serve 150 families in 3 different communities.

Galvanized iron pipeline hanging over the stream bed.

Galvanized iron pipeline hanging over the stream bed.

Once we got to the top of the hike at the location of the dam – 250m elevation – we began moving and laying rocks to fill the reservoir. This work lasted all afternoon. The rocks acted as a physical filter to prevent the entry of leaves, sticks, and other debris into the water supply. The wooded location of the dam could potentially lead to high maintenance costs without such a filter. We worked on this project with several local workers, as well as the president of the Water Council, Geronimo. The Water Council is a group of community members that were elected at community meetings organized by Global Water Brigades. The Council is in charge of operating and maintaining the pipeline to ensure its proper functioning after Global Brigades leaves; this is part of GB’s holistic model.

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The team photographed on the completed rock filter on the dam. The wooded location of the dam required the construction of the rock filter.

Back at the compound, we ate dinner, attended a group meeting to discuss different GB programs, and prepared for the Intercultural / Educational Fair on Wednesday. We were told we had 30 min to prepare an educational presentation on ocean pollution that we would be giving to local Honduran school children. I had prepared general research material about ocean pollution prior to leaving for Honduras, knowing that we would eventually have the Fair, but we didn’t realize it would be so soon! In typical CMU fashion, we crammed the project into one night. I think we did a pretty good job, considering, but we’ll see how the children enjoy it tomorrow!

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