Saturday, September 1, 2012

Parque Chimiya

Long Way Home is also partnered with a local Guatemalan group to take care of Parque Chimiya. This is a park that people of Comalapa can come and visit. It has a soccer (football) field and a basketball court. Both the field and court are very nice and I regret not using them more with my fellow volunteers, although we did use them more towards the end of my stay.

The volunteer house is also located at the park. While I was there a new Guatemalan family moved into a house on the property. Living there was the man hired to look after the park. To prepare for the move, we spent some of the working days away from the school and at the park doing different odd jobs.

One of the jobs was to rebuild and extend a bamboo fence to give the family a little more privacy.

We also worked hard on installing a evapotranspiration field (ET field) for the house. To do this we had to dig a large trench about 5 feet deep and maybe 15 feet long. We then lined the bottom of the trench with big rocks, followed by larger gravel and then smaller gravel. Finally, to top it off we put sand and covered the top with some of the original dirt and grass we had dug up.

In the bottom of the trench we put a plastic pipe leading up to the sink. The ET field gathers waste water and the gravel and sand help to filter the water so it does not contaminate the land when it evaporates.

Most of the volunteers lived in the volunteer house and a few of the volunteers lived in the cabanas. We referred to that as upstairs as you had to walk up a steep hill to get there (we were on a mountain after all). In between the volunteer house and upstairs was the new family's home, a parking lot and some gardens where fresh vegetables were  grown and used by both the staff and the volunteers.

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