Quebrada el Bajo Community Composting Latrine Project – Panama

Quebrada el Bajo, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Community Description
Quebrada el Bajo is a growing indigenous village located in the province of Bocas del Toro, Panama. The town is nestled at the foot of several mountains and can only be reached by dugout canoes traveling up a murky creek a half hour from the port town of Chiriqui Grande.

While Chiriqui Grande is a developing town with many of the modern amenities like electricity, running water, and flush toilets, Quebrada el Bajo seems to have been forgotten. The people live a challenging life by working day laborer jobs in the port, or by farming bananas, cacao, and root vegetables.

They lack the modern amenities that many of us take for granted, but through their day-to-day struggles and the education of their abundant children, they are working towards improving their own lives.

In the community of Quebrada el Bajo, not one family owns or uses any sanitation infrastructure. This leads to health problems for the children and some adults, as well as problems for the environment because everyone uses the creeks to relieve themselves.

Through a health seminar for the women and several workshops on the importance of latrines, thirty (30) families have expressed an interest in building composting latrines. This design is preferable to pit latrines in the area of Bocas del Toro because of an extremely high water table.

Project Description
This project is to build a community composting latrine in Quebrada el Bajo. This is a model project, designed to demonstrate the technology and show the benefits of this approach.

The construction will be coordinated by the Latrine Committee, and carried out under the supervision of the Peace Corps Volunteer by a latrine construction team. This will allow construction skills to be developed before a larger project is undertaken.

The model latrine will be located immediately next to the casa communal, or town meeting place. The town frequently has meetings there, at least once a week, and there are no available sanitation services.

The meetings range from meetings for the Parents Teachers Association to weekly youth group meetings. Each of these meetings usually has about 40-50 people present. Occasionally the community plays host to a larger meeting or political rally, with over 200 people meeting in the casa communal who will have access to a latrine.

Project Impact
This project will benefit the entire community of 750 people.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Daniel Cain

Meaningful skills and experience will be gained from this project while also creating a needed community sanitation facility. Once the benefits are demonstrated, it is expected that the construction technique will gain widespread acceptance and general use

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date
$500.00 + additional amounts for the next project

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of Catherine Cain, of Greenwood Village, CO, USA, with the help of friends and family of PCV Daniel Cain.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Daniel of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.