by Missy Goldberg, Wizards Program Manager
This past winter break, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer with Global Water Brigades in Los Pajarillos, Honduras. I applied for the BU club in September, and a small group of us traveled to Honduras from January 4th-10th over break. We weren’t quite sure what to expect during the week, but we left in utter exhaustion, appreciation, and inspiration from our experiences.
The goal of our project was to help build a water system that would bring clean, potable water to the village in Los Pajarillos. During the dry season, which lasts from about January to May, the villagers get only 3 gallons of water per person per day. In comparison, we use about 100 gallons of water per person per day. For these people living in dire poverty, the lack of water is a root cause of many health and hygiene issues. Global Brigades has created the Water Brigades program in order to help prevent these health issues and to help bring about a better standard of living for the people of Honduras.
American engineers had been working with the local Honduran water council in Los Pajarillos to plan the project, and our job was to help install the system. Each day we hiked a 3.2km mountain to get to the water source, where we moved rocks, dug holes, and mixed cement in order to help build a dam. We also spent the work days using pickaxes and shovels to dig trenches down the entire mountain, and began gluing and laying the pipes that would carry the water down the mountain. After 3 days of hard physical labor, working side-by-side with the local Hondurans, we had completed half the project and were excited to hear the group going the next week would finish the entire system. It was truly inspirational to talk with the Hondurans (in our broken Spanish) and work with them on this project, knowing that after this week they would no longer have to suffer through another dry season.
Global Brigades has 10 different programs including Medical, Business, Water, Environmental, Law, Dental, Architecture, Public Health, Microfinance and Dance Brigades. BU currently has four clubs (Medical, Water, Public Health and Business), and is always looking for interested students to start new Brigades.
For more info, visit www.globalbrigades.org.