I am sitting in a small hot shop in Tacuba typing on a computer keyboard with the letters handwritten on the keys and Spanish symbols in place of the ones I am used to using on my keyboard at home. All of that to say, there will most likely be typos in here, but this is the best I can do 🙂
The original design for the spring catchment was going to be about 30 square feet, but the nearly finished tank is about 63 square feet. Why did it double in size? Because the community believes bigger is better. At first, Jessica and I tried to explain that this spring catchment tank was just for gathering the water safely so we could pipe it down to the water storage tank (11′ diameter tank). We tried to keep the spring catchment area small because we wanted to focus on storing the water in the 11′ diameter tank we were constructing 60′ below the spring. None of our explaining worked and the men kept digging deeper and wider and creating a much larger spring catchment tank then we wanted. We wanted it small until we realized why they wanted it big. To this community, being able to see the water is there is important. They are used to saving water from sources that usually stop for a period. For example, they collect rainwater in large tanks, but it stops raining for a few months every year and during that time, the water in those tanks eventually runs dry. Even though this particular spring we are working with runs year-round, the community wants to still see a HUGE tank full of water. They want to be confident that water is there and will be there and will not run dry. Once we were able to understand their view, we didn’t mind doubling the size of the spring catchment tank to store water in addition to the lower tank we are installing.
It is hard to see things from other people’s perspective if you aren’t searching for it. Jess and I needed to really work on figuring out why they were making it so big and because we don’t speak spanish, we had to look at their surroundings to understand.
I don’t have time to share more, but just know that all is well and, here in La Cumbre, Bigger is Better 🙂