We have officially begun training our Dominican Community Director with Justice Water. Jose Luis Cotes is a friend of ours with whom we have done Justice Water projects with since 2012. Last year, when we did our latrine in Barahones, DR, he approached us asking us what he needed to do to be trained to run Justice Water in his community. This conversation actually sparked our initial conversations about what it would be like to train the guys and girls we’d been working with to really truly run with Justice Water in their communities. To say that this training was the fulfillment of a small dream would be so true. We are ecstatic that we have the opportunity to train Jose Luis and people like him to run with Justice Water.
Our first project, a latrine, was so fun! It was a great way to show our international staff interns how we do projects and was great to have our older staff lead out projects with this friend we have known for years. San Pedro is an amazing community, filled with materially poor, joyful people. As always, this area has been run down with aid and relief and we had more than enough opportunities to train and empower Dominican and Haitian people working with us and it left a lot of room for some serious and amazing conversations. We love it!
Here are two of our new international interns with Justice Water and Jose Luis. They mudded and slurried the inside of the latrine to keep waste from seeping into the ground. P.S. This was Sara’s second day in the DR! What a trooper!
It brings me such joy to see these guys still enjoying what they do years later. Ryan and Zach are such incredible leaders and men. I am so proud of them both!
Haitian economic refugees are all over San Pedro. I was able to chat a bit with this man, who moved to Santo Domingo when he was younger for more opportunity. He was selling zaboka (avocado in Creole). I also asked him about that weird baby doll head…which he uses to hold on to as he walks ;)
This is one of our Haitian Dominican friends who was with us the whole way to learn the latrine from start to finish. Jesselyn was a great leader and was able to have some very meaningful Creole conversation with him.
Here’s Sara! What a great team member. She joined us about a week ago and jumped into the latrine with no problem. She speaks a good bit of Spanish already and has a killer Spanish accent. We are so glad she’s with us. :)
A few Justice Water dudes (missing Jonas in this pic). Zach, Ryan and Jose Luis working on the latrine.
Ryan and one of our new friends
This little cutie was adorable at the work site. He, his brother and his mom are the people who are receiving a latrine in his impoverished San Pedro community.
Ripple Effect manual in action! Jose Luis looking at the manual with Zach, Jonas and Ryan and going over the dimensions for the latrine.
It has been a huge blessing in my life to see the manual and lessons that I wrote (now years ago) be taught in Spanish by our staff and friends. Here, Jonas is teaching about invisible germs to a community in San Pedro. He was wonderful!
Jonas teaching about germs that spread when you sneeze.
Sifting sand to make the lid for the latrine. Lindsey, Jesselyn and I had a blast working in the Dominican sun.
Some of our new interns- Lindsey and Jonas. What great workers!
Two great guys! Our Haitian Dominican friends who learned the latrine from start to finish- such great conversation came from this week working together!
Zach, such a great leader, empowering Jose Luis to lead the project!
Jose Luis, an example of the “ripple effect” in action! He has been working with the Justice Water team for years and now is empowered to teach locals.
Jose Luis and Virginia, the single momma who will be making use of the latrine :) and a local man from the community.
The finished latrine and isn’t it a beaut?!
And, here we are! Healthy as ever and living life! ;)