11 July 2007

Nicaragua: San Jose, Malacatoya, San Jose

11 julio San Jose, Malacatoya, San Jose

Jorge, the Mayor’s agenda advisor, met with us again, this time at the Municipal offices. He discussed the selection of the communities, who are chosen based on their social and environmental capacity. This includes gauging passion for development and desire for energy access and improved health services. The Committee considers three factors when exploring a community project: environmental, economic, and social consciousness. Every potential community should have an economic plan, diagnostic and map, potable water and/or energy uses/needs, school energy and production uses. The community must decide the energy needs and uses, because they know better than the municipality. Most important is the sense of group and a map of each inhabitant and what specific needs that house/business would have. A larger view can be extracted from this.
We had met with the community the other day. They have a waterfall approx. 3km away and a project that can work there. Jorge said that there was a system in L___ before but was destroyed during landslides during Hurricane Mitch.
dispositions of other communities were discussed with regard to the suitability of RE projects.
The upper regions have more forested lands and more availability of water, whereas the middle and lower regions are dryer. In the lower area of Boaco, there is one well that could have the capacity to serve the entire area if it is distributed well. They are currently working on the diagnostics for the lower regions. Reforestation can be helpful when done in tandem with pumping projects.

Jorge then invited us to the Mayoral Committee’s meeting after which we went to Malacatoya. we learned that George had assembled the turbine and the generator the previous day, after all, and that tests were ready to go ahead on three houses before the system started up 100%. it rained mightily! we heard the conga monkey again on our wet walk back which culminated at Paulo's house. they served us some delicious coffee, and we asked where it was from. he pointed to the coffee plants behind his house, and they explained that they roast the beans for their own consumption in the firewood kitchen stove. coffee doesn't get fresher than that!

back at Nonnie’s hospidaje, R had what she termed the “best shower” she’s ever had. with a water hose. i got to wash my clothes with a washboard again, just like the good old days in China. hard to find better traveling companions than this, must say.

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