San Mateo Update

by tacogirl

Been busy in San Mateo this morning with Heather and Jo. We went to Miss Shirley’s house to pick up the map and her son Jarris to bring him to the meeting with Pastor Peter and Brenda from mission group about the San Mateo Composting Toilet project. We are headed out shortly to meet Latitudes girls and work out more details for the San Mateo Summer camp and them meet Andy to talk about sailing lessons for the kids.

How fantastic everyone we spoke to said yes is loving the toilet project and the idea getting some of the older San Mateo kids to a water themed summer camp. Dee Dillon at Consolidated water was very interested in what Heather had to say and they are going to help out with  the 55 gallon barrels needed. The guys at Harmouche Hardware were right on board and set Heather up with a supplies account and will be making contributions along the way as the toilets start getting installed. Changes in Latitudes are on board on board to help out with the summer camp. Last stop was Caribbean Villas Resort to attend the San Pedro Sailing club meeting and find out about Sunday sailing registration for the kids.

If you are going to be in town this weekend or live here –  there is going to be a big beach party at Caribbean Villas this Sunday being put on by the San Pedro Sailing Club. happening for the sailing club. There will be beach barbecue – bouncy tent for kids – hobie cat lessons – discounted parasailing and loads of fun. If you are on the island and know any kids who are from disadvantaged homes that would like sailing and swimming lessons please get them to come to Caribbean Villas Sunday to sign up.

A  word from Heather about her visit and the project status ….

Hi Heather here…. Although the first build didn’t happen, we were able to spend a tremendous amount of time working with the community and collecting information that was necessary for the success of the project. My research has discovered that 90% of sanitation projects fail if we avoid the planning and information gathering step of the project.

Building stronger relationships with the people is as valuable as installing the first system.  This week we were able to look at every home in the area, document what we found and make sure everybody was counted and considered for a system.  I am so grateful we were able to spend a great deal of time with the people living in San Mateo, answering questions and sharing information.

As part of the initial information gathering I realized it was important to map out the area on this visit. I was lucky enough to get a realtors map with all the plots marked out and learn that Pastor Peter from the Maureen and Tracy’s mission group was a cartographer at one point in his life. This allowed us to do a walk through through of the neighborhood and mark valuable information on the map, if lot was filled, house height, number of dwellings on the lot and things like if they had, cistern, town water, electricity or not. This will all factor into where the first build will go because we need to find the areas with the highest probability of success for the first couple of builds.

Once we get our 2 first builds successfully up and running Cory Mcdermot said if he likes what he sees he is committed to helping us raise the funds needed and make sure this effort comes to completion.

I know we are getting closer to the installation of the first system, and I can tell you the community has expressed serious interest in the project.  I will continue to bring the pieces of the project closer,  and I assure you, I am not doing this alone.  It is the help of so many that continue to drive this project forward.

I’ll continue to keep tacogirl posted as things move forward.  Thanks to everyone for all you do to help see this much needed project through for the people of San Mateo.  -Heather

karen brodie
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dale wallace junior san pedro belize
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Dragonfly pottery Artisan Ruby hand

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8 comments

brenda from j-town 29/06/2011 - 6:38 am

i’m so glad to hear of the ‘rising tide’ of enthusiasm for the sanitation project. i feel a little frustrated not being there to DO something to help it along. so what i do is talk about here to anyone who will listen. thanks for keeping it in the news!!

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tacogirl 29/06/2011 - 7:30 am

You are all doing a great job from afar Brenda.

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Dennis 12/06/2011 - 9:57 pm

Is there any information available for ther design if the composting toilets?

Dennis

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tacogirl 13/06/2011 - 9:17 am

Hi Dennis. Heather has a blueprint in her binder. I am not sure if she has a jpg of it or not. You can reach her at heatherzw[at]gmail.com to find out more details. I know it involves a 55 gallon drum and there will be a solid and a liquid waste removal component to each one.

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RDD 09/06/2011 - 9:58 am

GREAT cause…and we are here to help!! I’m always amazed at the continued energy people have to help San Pedro. I feel blessed to be included!! Keep us posted all you can and we will get the word out…the more hands helping always the better. RDD

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tacogirl 09/06/2011 - 1:56 pm

You guys [Changes in Latitudes] do a great job of helping the community RDD – thanks for being available to work on this important cause.

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Jana Reed 08/06/2011 - 12:07 pm

Thanks for the pictures Laurie!!

See you soon!
Jana

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tacogirl 08/06/2011 - 2:34 pm

Anytime Jana.

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