Santa Clara Team: Another Successful Trip!
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Another successful trip in the books! In early September, EWB-DC returned to El Salvador to complete community partnership tasks in Santa Clara. Greeted with open arms, first-time travelers Mike Ford, Nikki Franzese, Eliana Rios and returning traveler Jess Kersey were welcomed back to the community to continue the project EWB-DC had started in 2004.
Although the trip was only five days long, the team took full advantage of their time and completed the planned water project closeout, organized community focus groups, conducted bridge assessments and even fit in time to visit schools in the surrounding area.
The Santa Clara Water Committee has been highly successful in operating their self-sustaining water system since its completion in 2012. This September, EWB-DC inspected the system one final time. The decision for project closeout was based on a number of considerations. Among the tasks, the most important were to:
- Execute performance reviews on the pump system equipment;
- Confirm water system finances are in good condition;
- Develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) to reprogram the pump controller;
- Hold a project closeout meeting with the community; and
- Ensure sustainability by confirming optimal operating and maintenance procedures as well as training.
The team closely inspected the water system, confirming it was operating smoothly and that all water tests returned results within desired parameters. After checking off these tasks, the Water Committee and travel team held a small ceremony to hand over the official documents.
On this productive trip, the team also conducted community focus groups to evaluate critical needs and to follow up on previous research and assessments. They also met with ADESCO (Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal or Association of Community Development), our community-based NGO partner.
Following this tremendous work by both the team and the community, Mike, Nikki, Eliana and Jess earned some time to visit the local schools – El Centro, Mango, and Los Lemus – and engage the students. The children were overjoyed to receive soccer balls and snacks, and even more excited to learn a few English words, and had some giggles making animal noises with Mike.