Thursday, June 17, 2010

Halfway Through

We've been in Paracas for 4 days now, and we've gotten so much accomplished.

The first day we met with the director, who is very happy that we're here to help. We learned that very little funds come to the schools from the government, so it is up to the persistance of the directors to ensure their school is in good condition. He was a little worried about the completion of the community well, but PlusPetrol's Armando Estrada assured him that it will be completed by July. At this meeting, our scope was slightly tweaked, eliminating the showerheads, along with some other tasks the director asked for that we're hoping we have the time and budget to acheive.

Then we went into Ica and gathered supplies at Sodimac (their Home Depot/Lowe's equivalent), located within the mall Playa del Sol. This was a very long process, but we got most we needed, and under budget. We had some challenges in availability and quality of plumbing materials, but have overcome them and are definitely leaving the school's restrooms not only set up for water conservation, but more functional and in better condition than they were.   

The second day, we finally got to work, starting the irrigation drip lines, and replacing faucets and toilets so that they conserve water. As of today, the dripline system is assembled and ready to be buried, and is in the process of hooking it up to their current distribution system. We recieved a lot of community help with this from parents and students that we were very grateful for. All four water conserving automatic shut-off faucets have now been installed, also with some help of some students. Shutoff valveshave been installed on all the fixtures in the boys' bathroom, so water service to the boy's bathroom has been restored after having no water for flushing or hand washing prior to our arrival. Two of the toilets in the boys' bathrooms have been successfully replaced with low-flush models, putting us on schedule for the rest of our stay. We have visited almost all of the classes, giving lessons on handwashing, sanitation, and water conservation. This was followed by a meeting with the parents this evening, where about 70 parents attended. An inspirational video about the importance of water was shown through a projector provided by Pluspetrol and speakers that the director let us borrow. We had a discussion about how they can help teach their kids water conservation and hygiene and also asked if they had any ideas for future projects.

The assistance of PlusPetrol has been invaluable, including Pluspetrol staff (Milagros and Edwin) and the security guards/drivers provided by PlusPetrol. Thus far it seems that everyone involved is behind the project 100%, the team is in good spirits and working well together, and we are optimistic of completing our tasks on time, within budget, and laying a foundation for future partnership between PUC, the school/community, and PlusPetrol.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. How is the weather in Paracas? i want to travel to Ica in the next week.

    Playas Peru

  2. It was a bit chilly at times because it was cloudy. It was warm (max I'd say was upper 80's) at all other times.