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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rotary helps foreign community

Friday, February 27, 2004

The Brazil chapter of the Rotary Club, after a presentation two weeks ago, has put back $2,000 to aid a small community in El Salvador.

Through Companion Community Development Alternatives, or CoCoDa, Rotary's donation will help the community, Aguacayo, attain a stable water source. The community lost its water pump during the Salvadorian Civil War, and has not had the means to restore it since.

Ivan Villasboa, CoCoDa's coordinator of community economic development, said that the plight is worse than it sounds.

"Their current water source might not be far away in miles," he said, "but it's very hard for them to get to it. When I went on the path they take, I literally had to crawl during parts of the walk."

Currently, citizens can either take a 20-to-30-minute trek down a steep, rocky ravine to obtain water, or walk five miles to a neighboring town, where they are forced to pay cash to get it. Villasboa and CoCoDa want to change that.

The project, which has two phases, is currently under way. First phase tasks include setting up electricity for the village, and obtaining a water pump, pipes, and able workers to install them. A municipal water source will also be set up in the center of the community. Villasboa said that the government is supplying electricity to the town, and donations have been given for other projects. Additionally, the town has raised money of its own.

The Rotary Club's donation will come into play during phase two. Under this phase, Aguacayo's residents will be provided with water piped to each individual home, and the water will be made potable by purification systems.

According to Villasboa, "unpotable" does not necessarily equate with "undrinkable" in the village.

"Their water is contaminated," he said. "They go and get it from a small source... smaller than a river, and it's really not drinkable. They drink it, wash their clothes in it, and they get sick."

He explained that boiling the water takes care of part of the problem, but not all of it.

Rotary President Sam Crawn said his organization was happy to help Villasboa's.

"We wanted to help with an international project," he said.

Several Rotary Clubs are helping, including those in Greencastle, Jasper, and Evansville. Crawn said that the money will not go to the organization until phase one is completed and enough funds are raised to finish phase two.

He also explained that this is the first international project Rotary has taken on this year.

Villasoba, who hadn't heard of the Brazil Rotary donation, was very happy.

"That's great news," he said, when informed of the news. "That's excellent."

For more information or to make a donation, contact CoCoDa at (317) 920-8643 or cocodaindy@igc.org.

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