Sarah Woods and Jose Reyes traveled to El Salvador and agreed to visit two project sites on behalf of Isa Mundo Foundation. The first visit was a project with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Oregon State University Chapter regarding a water project in the village of Las Mercedes and El Naranjito. We hope to partner with EWB to complete their sustainable water filtration and delivery system in the future. Sarah and Jose visited the project site on December 21st and were greeted and guided by Aaron Poreski and Alfonso Jimenez-Pedro of EWB. They were able to see first hand the Potters for Peace pots that were distributed by EWB in the community, and which filtered the water for both the families and the visitors. It was pretty incredible to see that the engineers from Oregon were drinking the same water as the locals, from the Potters for Peace pots, and to hear that none of the visitors had gotten sick. They also visited a school, met local community members, spoke with other EWB team and learned that having access to clean drinking water improves the community’s health by diminishing exposure to water-related disease, and significantly decreases the amount of time necessary for families to gather water during the dry season. The next phase of this EWB project is planned for implementation mid-summer 2008 and Isa Mundo is currently exploring how best to help EWB make these plans a reality! To learn more about the EWB projects in El Salvador, visit their website at: http://groups.engr.orst.edu/ewb/projects/el_salvador_project
The second visit was at an SOS Children’s village in Santa Ana. Through Isa Mundo, Sarah and José collected a hockey-bag full of school supplies for the kids and delivered it to the village. One of the village coordinators showed the two around and gave them a chance to meet the Mom’s and talk to the kids. This organization is doing amazing work for the children of El Salvador, and it was clear to both Sarah and Jose that this place was a sanctuary for the children who live there. Through a unique program format, these kids are given a second chance at having a family, including a home of their own, a mom and several siblings.