Submitted by International Service Chair Gene Medina
After we visited Tablitas, one of the three villages, we moved on to the  second village, Aqua Caliente. This is the village where we are funding eco toilets and assessing the possibilities for replacing the current water system. First, an update on the water system. Our Rotary partnership funded a site survey of the current system to assess the issues. We found that there is plenty of water, but it is extremely polluted with coliform and E. Coli so the issue has shifted from water system replacement to, first, resolving the water filtration issue .  In the meantime, our Rotary club partnership has decided to move forward on a 3rd eco toilets  global grant for the 2014-15 Rotary Foundation funding year and move the water system and filtration issue into 2015-16  funding year. It will take more time to identify the best strategy for responding to the filtration issue prior to designing the new water system.  We are working with the Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group as well as Engineers Without Borders on the water issue.

Attached are photos from Aqua Caliente of our current work. They include an eco toilet under construction, a completed toilet and the tomato vegetable garden in which human waste (stored for 12 months to “cool down”) has been used very successfully (see above).
Currently, Naveen Chaundry, Poulsob  Rotary and I are writing the new eco toilets global grant for approximately 53k which will be submitted by late May/early June. This new eco toilets global grant will fund the construction of approximately 76 more toilets which will be distributed in the three villages: Tablitas, Aqua Caliente and Cuarto Cayos as well as the school in Cuarto Cayos. With the completion of this third global grant,  the overall project will have provided eco toilets and access to improved sanitation and hygiene for to approximately 210 households in the three villages.
We have received the funding commitment for our District 5020 partners of 15k (Bainbridge, Poulsbo, Sequim , and Tumwater Rotary clubs) and, when the grant is approved, we will qualify for  a district and TRF match of 37.5k .  Additionally, our Kingston High School Interact Club will be joining the partnership and will fund the construction of an additional eco toilet. This is exciting because involvement in the grant will provide them an opportunity to actively engage in a Rotary international project and begin to build communication connections with a Guatemala City Interact Club.
In the next update, we will move to Cuarto Cayos and receive an update on  Rotary’s work there.