For the first time, the international project consisted of three sub-projects: the repair of the local primary school damaged during the 2020 hurricane season; amplification of the community’s potable water system to include approximately 100 people, previously without nearby access to potable water, through 10 public tap stands; and reinforcement of the bridge foundations of AWL’s 2017 project (Puente del Amigo) in the same community.
After surmounting the bureaucratic hurdles of U.S. and Nicaraguan COVID testing requirements, nineteen students, alumni and faculty arrived in El Potrero to begin work in late July. Once again, dozens of community members were on hand every day to haul sand, gravel, cement, roofing material and pipe – as well as digging 3 miles of ditch over rough terrain to accommodate the new waterline.
The AWL group pitched a picturesque tent camp near the house of our hosts: Nidia and Julio Mairena. Two wonderful cooks, Ivania and Lila, made the daily beans and rice meals with enough variation to keep us all happy and fed. Without a doubt, the favorite presence in camp was Mapache, the coolest dog on the planet, that followed the work crews everywhere and kept other menacing dogs at bay. Mapache has a big part in the attached video.
A plus this year was the planning that went into training 3 locals from the community on how to maintain and troubleshoot the water system. This will hopefully keep the newly completed projects in working order for years to come.
Feel part of our experience!