Construction is going really well in San Antonio!
I really love being back with this particular community – they feel more like family to me then any other place I have worked. I first arrived in San Antonio in July ’08. I instantly loved the remote community. It was a homestead at the very early stages of development in the dry coastal plains of Southern Guatemala. I played soccer with the kids and helped distribute food packages to families. It was the first place I experienced families living without access to safe drinking water. It changed the course of my life. I am doing what I do today because of what I saw in San Antonio 8 years ago. I returned to San Antonio in February ‘09 to manage my first water/sanitation project.
7 years ago is when we completed the small water tower and first 2 latrines in the community. Now, we are building more latrines and a new water tower! We had some minor differences when we were in the planning stage a couple weeks ago, but now we are moving forward at a good pace. We started with 3 teams, building a total of 17 latrines, but one team decided they didn’t want to work anymore. Not a big deal, the other teams have already said they would pick up the slack. So far, we have 12 latrines at about 70% complete and 5 that still need to be started.
Yesterday, at the house of Marco, his son, Carlos, was helping with the latrine construction. Carlos is 3-years-old and so cute that he was the subject of many of my photos that day. He was a little boss on-site. He was helping mix cement and placing it on the blocks. He was bossing the adults around, telling them that he was ready for a block and even “checking” their work with the level. Of course, he was really just mimicking his dad and we had to re-do his block cement but it was worth the laughs and fun of having a pint-size boss on-site.
The days (and nights) here are really hot. “Real-feel” was 114 yesterday. I think my body is losing its ability to adapt to different climates quickly. I started off here in Guatemala in the mountain area of Quetzaltenango (Xela, for short) at an elevation of 7,640’ for Spanish tutoring. I was freezing day and night. I had brought warm clothes to Xela and had to wear all of them (sometimes, all at the same time 😉 ). I used 6 blankets at night in Xela. Here, I freeze water bottles during the day that I use to cool off at night.
**Note from Cait’s friend, Melissa:
Even though Caitlin has very limited internet access, don’t forget that you can still send messages to her! Just use the link below for her satellite messaging service and she can send a message to your email: