Los Robles, El Salvador

To say that the people of Los Robles are excited about getting a water well would be an understatement. For the past couple of days we have had more than an audience, we have had an army of volunteers eager to lend a hand. The folks here have been waiting a long time to get a reliable water well in their village and they are not content to sit idly while it happens. They want to get their hands dirty.

Developing the Well
Yesterday we drilled to a depth of 100-feet and found a great source of water. We were fortunate that we had smooth drilling. No rocks to punch through as on previous drilling trips. We also set the casing in the well before the end of the day, putting us ahead of schedule. This morning we developed or cleaned the well, a process of blowing air into the well for several hours until the water runs clear.

Making the Form
In preparation for pouring the pad and setting the pump housing, we had to get a couple of truck loads of sand. The men and boys in the village jumped into action. They not only fetched the sand and mixed the cement, they cut rough-hewn lumber and made the form for the pad on which the pump will be placed. Others gathered rocks to place in the form to serve as filler. There was a beehive of activity as the men worked, many of them in bare feet, to complete today’s tasks.

Filling the Form
The best part of today’s experience was working alongside people whose hearts are filled with gratitude for the gift of this water well. I enjoyed the activity, the laughter, and the progress that we made because everybody was willing to lend a hand. The people of Los Robles have taken ownership of this initiative to provide clean water to their village. Their willingness to get their hands dirty made today’s tasks easier and a lot more fun. We are all looking forward to seeing each other again tomorrow as we work together to finish the task.

Concrete in Form