Hello Friends, Family, and Interested Blog Readers,
As many of you know I have been living here in Panama for over a year now working in a small rural village of 200 residents on the Caribbean ocean as a Water Sanitation Peace Corps Volunteer. Playa Balsa is home to white sandy beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters, but lacks potable water and sanitation facilities. Over the last 9 months I have worked along side community leaders to design a gravity-fed water system that will bring potable water to 25 homes, a church, a small store, and the community building. With high rates of water borne and fecal-oral illnesses this aqueduct will be a great improvement to the community´s health. At the same time we will build the community´s first latrine as a pilot project to hopefully promote better understanding of the importance of latrines and sway those residents who are skeptical of the switch from utilizing the creek as their sanitation facility. It is clear that some residents already desire a home latrine, so this pilot latrine will help the follow-up volunteer work with the community to address just how many should be built and demonstrate the maintenance of the composting design.
To make this project possible we need funds to do so, $10,035.50 to be exact. In case some of you are wishing to make a holiday donation for a family member or yourself I have recently had my project posted on the Peace Corps website https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=525-173 where you can make a tax deductible donation. If you simply can´t afford to in these tough economic times but know someone who might be able, please help me forward this email along. If you know of any organizations that would be worth contacting regarding funding this project, I would greatly appreciate that information as well. I´m extremely proud of all the hard work my community has done to understand water borne illnesses and design a water system to prevent them and appreciate every penny that helps put their dreams into action.
I hope all is well in your lives and appreciate you taking the time to read this email.