Rotary Governor, District 4240 visiting composting latrines with Martha Castillo, Masaya Rotary and Alcance Nicaragua team.
Early Bird tickets (save $10) are available through through August 31. After that, please register by September 27.
The El Lllanito, Nicaragua water supply project team is putting this fundraiding event on for the Engineers without Borders San Francisco Professional chapter (EWB-SFP).
In August the Rotary Global Grant 1638377 Nicaragua – water supply project was approved.
The El Lllanito, Nicaragua water supply project EWB team is doing the engineering for the water supply system and is applying for a $6000 grant for the project from the chapter. The requirements to obtain the grant include chapter-wide fundraisers like this one.
The September 30th, walk (or bike) the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito – ferry back to San Francisco Ferry Building is modeled after very popular walks that the Livermore Rotary club has done. I’ve participated in several of them and this should be fun.
Our El Llanito Nicaragua water supply project team is working on our annual Engineers Without Borders – San Francisco Professional chapter annual fundraising gala, SFari 2017, at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco on Thursday, October 19th beginning at 7PM.
Our project team is also applying for a $6k grant for the water project from our chapter. The requirements we need to fulfill to obtain the grant include two chapter-wide fundraisers. We are launching these and would appreciate your support. Please consider donating or registering to participate in our September 30th, walk (or bike) the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito – ferry back to San Francisco Ferry Building. Ticket includes sandwich lunch with soft drink and ferry ticket.
Please share these with your network. For direct links to our online fundraisers see:
For the walk/bike across the Golden Gate Bridge take ferry back, see:
Engineers Without Borders is a nonprofit that focuses on sustainable engineering solutions to solve problems in developing countries. Our chapter (http://www.ewb-sfp.org/programspage/) specifically has seven project teams. This event goes to supporting all of our projects in these communities and we focus on the needs that were proposed to us which could be sanitation, healthcare, water access or a variety of other issues that developing world communities face.
I presented at our Rotary Club of Livermore on 7/26/17 on Rotary Global Grants In Action: Update, Composting Latrines Project, Nicaragua. I’m scheduled to present a similar talk to the Rotary Club of the Livermore Valley on 8/15/17.
In addition, we showed selected parts of this video of Daniel, removing compost from his composting latrine. He’s been using his since the 2010 deployment. He and his wife have participated in the community workshops for the 2014 and current projects, sharing their experience and answering questions.
This was a very productive week. I’m leaving for Belize tomorrow, returning home Saturday mid-day.
With our NGO partner, Alcance Nicaragua, I visited all four of the communities that we are working in. I documented the construction status of our composting latrines in Los Alvarez and El Llanito, near Santa Lucia in Boaco; and El Tunel and La Prussia, near Masaya and Granada. In addition, we were able to talk to the builders, community organizers, and individual family members who are participating in the project. I captured suggestions and observations from the builders to consider for future design improvements.
While I was not able to meet with Martha Castillo Ocon, my point of contact for the Masaya Rotary club, we exchanged messages and she commented on the construction activities using WhatsApp.
I was also able to visit the new communities that Alcance is working in out of the Santa Lucia office: Coyota and El Riego; and out of the Masaya office: Coyolar, Playas Verdes, and Justo Romero. Alcance discussed their thinking on new strategies to engage these communities to meet their many needs which include water and ecological stoves.
Yesterday we left Santa Lucia where we been looking at the composting latrine project and Alcance’s work in new communities. We arrived at Alcance’s offices in Masaya around 11 am. They gave me an update on their work on the composting latrines in La Prussia and El Tunel and their Initiatives with new communities. After lunch together, the Santa Lucia group went back.
I went with Ricardo Rivera and Adriana Cruz to Comejen, one of the new communities they’re working in. We met with two families to discuss their experience with the pilot project for ecostoves. These ecostoves are so beneficial. They eliminate the health issue from having a kitchen and house full of smoke with it’s damaging effects on lungs, eyes, and other problems. In addition these stove burn much less fuel, so there’s less wood to gather or pay for. The women reported that they put out enough heat to cook very well. This is a demonstrated technology.
Alcance has deployed these ecostoves in communities around Santa Lucia for some time, and has documented substantial user experience about their benefits.
This morning I had one of the mangos they gave us with my breakfast.
I’ll be traveling to Belize, Wednesday 5/31 and be there till mid-day 6/3/17. Since I’ve been in Nicaragua for the composting latrine project, makes sense to stop in on my way home.
Here are photos from my last stop in December 2016, after our Engineers Without Borders assessment trip for the water supply project in El Llanito, Nicaragua. These selected ones show me with one of the improved cashews in our orchard, the caretaker’s residence, and our “tiny house,” where I usually stay.In the background can see our shed which covers our 40′ shipping container and part of our corrals. I’ve also include a photo of our cattle.
Belize Open Source Sustainable Development is a work in progress.
In October 2006, I got response from CA Secretary of State indicating we were incorporated and in June 20008, got letter from the IRS with the determination that Belize Open Source – Sustainable Development is exempt from Federal income tax and we are qualified to receive tax deductable donations.
Here is a bit about the story on the property. As the background page indicates:
I went to Belize in ’74 to help my parents, 2 younger brothers, and my sister relocate to a land development project between August Pine Ridge and San Felipe. My sister, the oldest of my siblings, is 11 years younger than me.
Yesterday, while visiting composting latrines under construction in Los Alvarez, Luz Dania, from our NGO partner Alcance Nicaragua, told me about a local community microloan program.
It started as pilot program in El Llanito using the eco-stoves project repayments to their own community based organization. Then they were able to get $5000 from Outreach International to expand the program. Loans are up to a maximum of $200 US, but many are much smaller. Loans are intended to address various problems and opportunities.
Applicants submit requests for review by a committee. They’ve made 39 loans and another 16 are being made for agricultural loans (as it’s now time for planting and seeding). Recipients pay 1% per month, but payments can be scheduled for a later time, for example when crops are harvested. The committee members really know the people in their communities so they can choose reliable people to loan to.
These photos show case where a family used their loan to add a new roof over existing rooms and an area at the back of their house and install new doors.
My wife, Kathy, and I have a portfolio of organizations we support. But based on my conversation with Luz, I want to focus on Kiva and microlending today.
Bill Clinton’s 2007 book, Giving, inspired me to consider how each of us can change the world. He takes the reader through the extraordinary and innovative efforts being made by companies, organizations, and individuals, to solve problems and save lives both “down the street and around the world.”
He urges each of us to seek out what, “regardless of income, available time, age, and skills,” we can do to help, to give people a chance to live out their dreams.
He writes of how people with modest amounts who are willing to contribute sometimes are often unsure their $25 or $50 will make a difference. Kiva, an NGO, has resolved that question in an innovative way by offering people a way to become microcredit lenders of as little as $25.
Clinton’s book and shout out for Kiva encouraged me to start loaning through Kiva on a monthly basis. I’ve been doing it since 2010 and it adds up. Most of the loans are attributed to team Belize Open Source Sustainable Development.
Here is an image of loans I made today, after a reminder from Kiva that I had a credit. Most of them are from repayments. I focus on women in Ag in Central America, but occasionally branch out. The adjacent chart shows the cumulative effect with 421 loans to date, and over $10.5k lent. It surprises me in a pleasant way.
I missed a morning flight in Houston. My Alcance Nicaragua NGO partners picked me up at the airport in Managua and we drove to Santa Lucia. Got in after 11 pm. I’m staying in the Alcance office in Santa Lucia.
Today we visited homes in El Llanito and Los Alvarez to view progress on construction of composting latrines. We talked with beneficiaries and the builders. I noted their suggestions for improvement and documented changes so we can “as-build” these units and incorporate improvements in the design for future deployments.
Martha Castillo Ocon, our Masaya Rotary Club partner, visited El Llanito to sign contracts with builders for the composting latrines. She also visited the existing community well that we plan to do our next Rotary/EWB project around: install a submersible electric pump, elevated storage tank, and a five kilometer pipeline distribution system to deliver water to tapstands throughout the community. This will address a long standing community priority. It will reduce the amount of time that mostly women and girls spend filling and hauling water containers from the well back to their homes.