2019 Summit Summary
Greetings Amigos de Agua del Pueblo,
I hope all is well. We just concluded our 2019 Save the Lake Summit. It was quite a success.
· We brought together Rotarians from two clubs in Petaluma CA, with clubs from Annapolis MD, Northfield MN and Panajachel, Guatemala.
· Lic. Carlos Gomez, the civil war era and first Guatemalan CEO of Agua del Pueblo provided an economic and political background
· Dr. Paul Wise, “The international dude (emeritus title)” of Child health in Conflict Areas at Stanford Medical School, discussed the role of water in health and economics in rural Guatemala.
· We participated in a several millennia old Mayan Ceremony of the Cosmovision and Danced the Fire.
· We visited our most recently completed project (Sanik-Ya and Chitulul, San Lucas Tolimán). In the one year since the inauguration of the project, the village committee has installed electricity, a paved road and have begun to build a primary school. The committee members attributed their ability to further develop their communities to the methodology they learned from our water and sanitation project.
· We visited one of AdP’s first projects. A pumping project for Pampojila and Panimaquib in San Lucas Tolimán – another StL!!! The project (Dubbed Proyecto Amistad) is still performing after more than 45 years.
· We also visited one of our ongoing projects (Nuevo Progreso and Chocol, Santa Lucia Utatlan, (StL)).
· We brainstormed several mutual projects with Mayan Power and Light including solar Ultra Violet treatment and Solar pumping. We will be developing the proposals soon.
· We enjoyed a couple of evenings of Jazz, stared, directed and produced by Joe Wakely
· HUGE (300 children) rock opera, stared, directed and produced by Todd Thompson
However, for me, the last day was the highlight. We participated in the selection of the villages for Phase 2. We talked with and heard from the leaders and representatives of two villages. As I write this, the ‘winners’ were: Los Planes, Pamezabal and the Mil Milagros school at Chuijomil, StL).
Over the past 47 years, Agua del Pueblo (AdP) has created, honed and shared a methodology for rural water and sanitation projects. The prime directive of the methodology is to ensure sustainability of the project. AdP does not view water and sanitation as the final goal. We view water and sanitation projects as the ‘means’ to the ‘end’ of sustained community development.
One notable step in the methodology is what we call “The Show”. During the day-long visit, we first meet with the leaders and other representatives of the community. Before convoking the community wide meeting, our Rural Water Technicians gather the necessary geographic, topographic and hydrogeological information to develop a preliminary cost estimate (+/- 15%). We share the results with the entire community, including the number of person days of volunteer work and the necessary financial contributions to ensure sustainable operation and maintenance for the design life of the projects.
Rotarians from Annapolis MD, Northfield MN and Panajachel participated in this important methodological step. The Rotarians we able to observe the community define needs and document the villages’ efforts to obtain water and sanitation since the founding of the community.
Do NOT miss our 2020 Event. It will run about $1,500 plus air fare. You will need to send a $500 deposit to Joe Wakely or Todd Thompson or a player to be named later.
I wonder what we should do for the 50th anniversary of Agua del Pueblo? Rumor has it that famed author and international scientific stealth raconteur (Joe wanted to say: dilettante), Dr. Michael Gresalfi, our consigliere is forming a working committee for the potentially OUTRAGEOUS birthday in Guatemala and around the Multiverse!
Viva La Lucha del Pueblo,