After what seems years of preperation and a small team season in 2014, we finally welcomed our first Gap group to Peru in January 2015. As you would have already read in previous blogs we started a long-term project of providing bathrooms for the community surrounding Camp Titicaca in July 2014. School teams in the summer did a fantastic job and our first Gap team have matched it. We are set to have completed three complete bathrooms (with toilet and showers facilities, running water and electricity) by the time the group leave the camp later this month.
The group started their project by hammering in nails to the bathroom structures, which are constructed in traditional methods using adobe bricks (mud bricks). The nails allow the concrete mix to stick to the walls better and ensure the structures last through the heavy rainy season. As you can see the conditions were cold and the group have had to battle through some very rainy weather to finish the projects.
Their next task was to mix the concrete, they had to wheel-barrrow sand from the beach to the site (around 500 metres) and mix this with cement and water. You would be suprised how many wheel barrows full of sand were needed for each wall!
Then they had to start applying the mix to the walls, and levelling the mix out. This, as well as the constant mixing, took several days to complete. As the group were learning as they were going, the second bathroom took much less time than the first.
After completing all the walls and allowing them to dry the group started painting the outside walls.
As you can see the end product was something that our volunteers and community can be very proud of. This is the third completed toilet in the community and we aim to provide each household in the community with toilet and shower facilities, running water and electricity in the near future.
As well as the construction of the bathrooms, our volunteers have started the teaching of English in the community. Lessons have been in the afternoon, meaning they were working hard on the bathrooms during the day and then preparing lessons and teaching during the afternoon. The lessons have been extremely well attended and interest in the community has grown and grown.
Keep an eye out for future blogs with news on our first Gap projects in Camp Colca coming soon.