Two-bucket filters to the rescue
Nothing better than starting the day with a cup of Puerto Rican coffee, rich and smooth. We meet at the local Coffee House, discuss plans for the day and head up Hwy 10 with buckets, filters, drill and taps. Fog and drizzle keep the temperatures down but the damp must be hard on our friends in the camps. They are just like you and me—except one day an earthquake completely changed their life. Can you imagine putting toys, cloths, kitchen utensils in bags and living in a tent for an indefinite time? The rain turned from drizzle to a downpour, so Albert shifted filter materials from the back of the truck to Erika’s table. He put together three for the camp and gave each new filter owner training on maintenance. Our unique 2-bucket system protects the filter from dirty hands and rough use. Later we found a tent at a Walmart on the east side of town. Hopefully, Erika’s family will be protected from the curious mice.
Robert from Camp 2 focuses on training and later is surprised with a nerf baseball and bat . His brothers and their fierce neighbor, Alexandra, are preparing for some hot sport competitions. Days are really long for young people. Many schools are closed with no projections for opening.
Sonja is taking over filter maintenance for her multi-family unit in Camp 2. The group plans to build a special filter shelf near their forest kitchen. Most camps have portable toilets and creative showers.
Heading up to 3600 ft, we met Marybell, Edwardo’s mother at Camp 3 La Pica. Three more families joined their community since yesterday, placing tents near the community center. Marybell keeps meticulous records of all donations. We signed for the filters and Albert gave her training on cleaning the filter.
Traveling back down Hwy 10, we stopped at the Sisters family camp. Restless little ones fussed for mommy’s attention while daddies were in town picking up supplies. It was just a short visit to drop off a tarp and string.
At Camp 5, Campanento La Vaquena (cows own the land), Wendy, Franklin, Brenda and Rosemary shared some of their concerns over a cold cola. Without electricity it’s very dark at many camps. They would like a solar night lamp & some whistles for protection.
After Albert installed the filter, we met the newest family member also a refugee, albeit a fury one. One dark night her barking alerted the family to an intruder, sealing her special bond with the family. Her name is Hope.
This daily journal closes with the photo of a rainbow over Ponce. A sign of Hope.
Thank you for your interest in Puerto Rico. Keep checking in on this blog to follow our filter installations and our efforts to address the needs of the community.
To donate to bring fresh water to those affected by the earthquake, click here.