Today I lead you to the small village of Coroma, in the Talamancan mountain range in the BríBrí territory. This remote village is only accessible by boat from the small community of “Suretka”. The inhabitants of Coroma in conjunction with ATEC want to introduce ecotourism in this wonderful site, and organize tours that would provide a new source of benefits to the community. But right now there is a major problem, there’s no water system in the village. Since November, one of ATEC’s projects for sustainable development is to collect donations for the construction of an aqueduct connecting the river and the village.
With Alaine and Ana the two ATEC team members, two water supply experts, an employee of the San Fransico Hardware store in Bríbrí and our previous state political representative Edwin Patterson (President of ATEC) we woke up early in the morning to go through dirt tracks to the village of “Suretka”. There, a boat was waiting for us to go upstream to Coroma. This trip was an experience! We were 10 people in this dugout canoe, going upstream through rapids and behind me the kid of the captain baling the water out of the boat with his plastic boot. Then on firm earth, we took a bus to finally reach the village of Coroma. No need for A/C on this bus, there’s no windshield!
After the “misty morning” comes “sun is shining” in Talamanca, and what a strong sun just when the physical exercise really started! The trek begun easy, simply walking on a path but by the time it became more and more difficult. We walked in fields with long herbs, in bushes, across the river many times, in muddy trail with an incredible humidity rate under the canopy and a dangerous sun in clear places. But at the end we went upstream the river to finally reach the point where the community members have hauled up and stored the cement next to the site of the future water tank. (this cement was purchased with the generous donations from community members from the Puerto Viejo area and friends and supports of ATEC, see list at end of article)
We needed a break, and then we continue for the last hike to the water source. There, the engineer checked the water flow as well as the altitude of the site. They decided to go back from another path and to do more analysis on the way. The problem was, there’s no path! So, our guide Xenon had to create a new one with his machete, the engineer mapping the site with his GPS the whole way.
The construction of this aqueduct, about 3 kilometers long, on uneven grounds and with a small difference in level between the source and the last water tank in the village seems to be an impossible mission, but the tube company experts are confident that it is a very feasible project. Coroma’s community will provide the workforce, but we still have to find some donations to buy more than 500 tubes needed for the construction. Results of the analysis and so, a budget forecast, will be released soon. If you want to participate in this project, contact: email@example.com
Thanks to the donors in our first round of donations collections back around the holidays. With those donations the concrete, re-bar, cement block, and other materials were purchased to build the holding tank for the water.
When we did that fund raiser, we thought we had raised enough funds to do the whole project. However, the materials estimate we'd received from the hardware store was for only 50 tubes to bring water from source to community, now we realize more like 500 tubes will be needed! It's become our most serious project ever. But we are confident we will have success in getting this basic need to this community.
We are in contact with the A y A (Costa Rica's rural water provider) and are hoping to establish a positive relationship with them and with the members of the Coroma community!
Thanks also to Randal from Ferriteria San Fransico
Thanks to Clever and Diego from AMANCO water system tube maker.
Thanks for donors so far:
The Hedges Foundation
Costa Rica Adventures
The University of Georgia
Cherry & Alex, ATEC's ex-interns
Los Amigos de Bordon
2 Neighbors from Playa Negra, PV
Los Geckos Lodge