Team Mexico - August 2014
The team left to Mexico in late summer 2014 and collaborated with CHOICE representatives upon arrival. After collecting materials for the construction of biosand water filters, they continued on to the community of La Salitrera. Shortly after arriving, the team was divided into two small groups, one of which started building the filters and the other that went to the river with community members to prepare the materials necessary for the filters.
The next day they built the first biosand filter. The filters needed a very large amount of sand and gravel for construction, so there were always team members down in the river collecting and washing sand and gravel. While this labor was performed in the river, the rest of the crew went to the next household to pour concrete for more filters. The filters were tested after 24 hours and were then filled with washed sand from the river.
Water filter in action
Checking the filter
The team supervised this labor with all six filters that were built during the trip. In addition, they taught each family the basics of maintaining the filter. Pamphlets with all the necessary information in Spanish were left in every household that had a filter.
Later that week, Team Mexico went to the weekly “Savings Box” meeting with the women of the community, during which they explained the biosand filter project. They also left materials for those who wanted to build their own filters.
Team Mexico continued pouring concrete and washing sand for the filters. Every time a household was visited, the team would also take cistern and tap water samples to search for bacteria and other contaminants. During this time, three team members went to the tank of “La Campana” to set up the wireless system that sends data from the wells. The last day before leaving the community, the team tested the water of the last two houses that received filters, as well as samples from the tanks and the river.