Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pictures from the pueblo. Back to the USA next week.

I am back in Bogota after spending a week in the village. We have managed to set up a 68 watt solar panel with a voltage regulator, large motorcycle battery, power inverter, and a cell phone signal amplifier. I am happy to report everything works, however the cell phone data signal is still too weak to have Internet connectivity.

We have also installed a 200 liter water tanks with a sediment filter to be used with river water, and two Lifestraw Family water filters.

On the public relations side I have had two town meetings with the villagers and spoken with many people individually. While the village still wants clean water, English instruction and better sanitation, they are most interested in business development. I believe this is the way to go, as it encourages the villagers to become more self-sufficient. With this change the whole village was more supportive of the project. Basically we would be giving individuals small loans to start or develop small businesses. The interest from the loans will be used for water/health improvements and when the money is returned (hopefully the majority of it) we can reinvest the money in additional businesses. I am also pushing for 10% of their profits gained from the loan to be donated to the school/village for general community infrastructure improvements.

Because of this I must return home to Rockland to contact the other project volunteers, rework the project if they are in agreement, and raise more money for the loans. At the same time I will be taking computer information systems classes at the university and working part-time.  Stay tuned for more...

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