Social Design in Peru (2/2)
Loophole continues down the Amazon for a second week as a volunteer with Global Access 2030, a Colorado 501(c)3, and Conapac, a non-profit based in Iquitos, Peru.
Rob, the owner of Loophole, and Roger, the founder of GA2030.org, joined up with our sponsors and small team from Conapac. Conapac is a local non-profit who’s mission is to promote conservation and social development through education in the rainforest. The work they are doing is very impressive for such a small and agile organization.
The team arrived at Santa Maria de Fatima, walking up the silt banks, across the soccer field centered in the village, to the open air community building. A couple members of the Conapac team had arrived early to layout fourty-five filter systems and pre-drilled buckets. The gracious and welcoming families filled the perimeter bench of the building. After some quick introductions, the team led forty-five families through the assembly of their filter systems, usage, and maintenance practices. It was well planned and well received. The day ended with playing with the kids on a make shift spring board, running in the field, and sharing the perfect bowl of chicken soup in a families home.
The next morning, the kids from Yura Yacu were excited to perform in their bird costumes. This was part of a brilliant programs developed by Conapac with Cornell University to promote science based conservation. It was great to see the larger impact of education programs from Conapac.
That afternoon was spent in Uco Mirano where the team researched water gathering and filtering systems—how did they perform? how long did they last? When did the fail? Why did they fail? The team disassembled several and gained many insights. These rivers are the ultimate challenge to these systems.
After a quick stop in Llachapo where Rob and Roger visited the school to understand their infrastructure, they traveled to Tres de Mayo to field test filters for E.coli. The team interviewed families regarding their routines, how water was gathered, and how the filters were being used to understand challenges that cannot be anticipated from an office.
Since the river was at its lowest, the team made the long hike across the flood plane into LIDA with over one hundred degree temperature and one hundred percent humidity. In LIDA, the team ran field tests, visited the school, and interviewed families about experiences with water gathering and filtering technologies. To refuel for the hike out, the team was treated to a traditional lunch of Shirui, Boquichico, and Carachamas.