Cacahuatalejo Pump Repair Project – El Salvador

Cacahuatalejo, San Francisco Gotera, Morazán, El Salvador

Community Description
The community of Cacahuatalejo, located in a low valley in the southern portion of the department of Morazan, is extremely hot, dusty and dry. There are 180 houses and 875 residents according to a recent census taken by the local Health Promoter.

The primary school of the town houses 185 students from Kindergarten to 9th grade. A smaller school in the neighborhood halfway up the mountain houses another 67 students from Kindergarten to 6th grade.

Farming small plots of corn, bean, and sorghum and raising cattle are the main sources of employment in the village. As the village is located within the municipality of the “capital” of the department of Morazan, there are a handful of residents that work in stores, pharmacies, and banks in the town.

The majority of students cannot afford to attend high school and college due to costs of transportation, study materials, and tuition. The majority of homes receive remittances from family members working abroad so they can purchase basic needs such as food, clothing and medicine.

The community has a functioning ADESCO (Community Development Association) that manages the community water system, solicits NGOs and local government for development projects, and puts on village events, such as soccer tournaments and the annual carnival.

The ADESCO successfully brought electricity to the community six years ago and has been in the process of improving the well for the community water system for the past few years. Unfortunately, as a poor village in the poorest department in El Salvador, some projects are simply too costly without outside aid.

Water is always on the minds of the residents of Cacahuatalejo. Half of its residents are connected to a village water system, managed by the ADESCO, which provides a few hours of running water twice a week during the wet season and one half hour to an hour during the dry season. The residents that are not connected to the water system must find water from the creeks (which are dry half the year), private wells, or trucked-in water throughout the year.

As March approaches life becomes harder. Residents haul water each day during the dry months for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, laundry, and livestock. Some women and children in the community haul water all day from the one functioning public pump, as the aquifer is bone-dry.

In 1996 two community water pumps were installed in the central neighborhood of Cacahuatalejo, which houses the larger school and 125 residents of the village. The two pumps have very different life stories. One pump has been fixed correctly before and provides water to residents in “El Centro” throughout the year. It is the only public source during much of the dry season for “El Centro.” The other pump is littered with holes from rust due to improper repairs and has not provided water since 1998.

Project Description
This project is to repair the broken community water pump. Project funds will be used to purchase materials and tools, and pay for the transportation and labor needed to complete the project.

In addition, an experienced water-pump contractor will train four members of the local ADESCO in pump maintenance, so they will be able to fix it when future problems occur.

Manual labor will be contributed by the ADESCO. Officers of the ADESCO, along with PCV Zach Tomas, will manage the project.

Project Impact
This project will benefit at least 210 people, consisting of 125 residents of the neighborhood “El Centro” plus 185 students from the largest school. In addition, the two community churches will be served.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Zach Thomas

This project arose from and is being carried out by a strong community organization. In addition, it contains a component to train community members in pump maintenance. Both factors serve to ensure that the project will be successfully implemented and maintained into the future.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Zach Thomas of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Zach and/or those of his counterpart PCVs in El Salvador.

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