Corozal School Project Completion - Guatemala
This project was successfully completed under the direction of Dave Bowker, PCV, on August 28, 2009.
We pre-fund these critical projects, so that they can be started at once and completed quickly to serve the needs of the community. Your donations are still needed to pay for this project, so we will have the resources to approve every worthy project that is submitted to us.
Dave reports as follows:
After receiving funding from Water Charity’s Appropriate Projects department, the teachers of the school Corozal and I were able to buy the materials needed to construct the 8 faucet hand washing station that we had designed and budgeted for. The process did not happen without any hiccups. After purchasing the materials we were in need of a truck to transport them to the community. The municipality of Coban, Alta Verapaz had promised to help us with the aid of a truck before the materials were purchased, but once we had purchased the materials and contacted the Muni to let them know we were ready to coordinate for the truck, it seemed it would be harder to actually receive this truck than previously thought. It took many phone calls and trips to the government building to finally receive the truck needed to transport the materials, but eventually the local government came through and put in their part of our three part project.
Once we had the materials on site it was time for the community to do their part by providing the manual labor for the project. This began by the men of the community collecting rocks for the project from the surrounding area. Once a sufficient number of stones had been collected, the mason could begin the construction of the hand washing station with the help of the community. A septic tank was needed to prevent flooding, trenches were needed to lay the pipes, and the mason needed people to mix cement. All these tasks were undertaken by the men in the community who have children attending the school, at no cost.
The project took a total of four days to complete and we received enormous community support during the whole process. During construction I slept at the school with the teachers and was fed by the community three meals a day. After the fourth day everyone was very pleased at the work they had done because now the children of the school had a hand washing station where they could practice basic healthy habits, like washing their hands after going to the bathroom and brushing their teeth after snack.
The community is very thankful to Appropriate Projects for providing them with the funding needed to realize their goal. This project was a strong success and proves that sustainable community development can be achieved if carried out the right way. The community truly holds the ownership of this project and is thankful for the support they received, but by no means feels like it was given something that it didn't work for.
This is what sustainable community development means and I hope others will continue to support Water Charity and the Appropriate Projects division in their quest to help Peace Corps volunteers around the globe continue to be facilitators of development.
We are grateful to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this successful project.