Saludos con todos! Me llamo Emma Yunker. I am a mechanical engineering student at Calvin College and am interning this summer in Ecuador for six weeks with Life Giving Water International. However, for the first two weeks of my stay, I accompanied The Clean Water Institute of Calvin College which collaborates with Life Giving Water International.
Dr. David Wunder, the director of the Clean Water Institute of Calvin College states, “It’s relatively easy to find water and treat water, the hard part is to maintain water treatment and make it sustainable.”
Once the team arrived in Quito, we ventured out to Ocpote La Merced, where we stayed for four days with minimal running water and electricity in an old hacienda house. The lack of Wi-Fi created more opportunity for wonderful conversations both within the team and also with the local people. Spending the cold nights on mattresses, curled up in our sleeping bags challenged us, however, learning and living in the community was priceless. Not only were friendships made, but I must admit, an enemy was also made. The rooster outside the old hacienda: we did not agree upon sleeping hours.
Our work in ten different communities primarily consisted of three studies:
- Determining the water quality within several communities before disinfection.
- Collecting data to obtain a greater knowledge of the level of chorine acceptance.
- Creating a model on computer to display the control of chlorine in a system.
It is important to understand that The Clean Water Institute of Calvin College promotes sustainability. The intent of our work focused around learning from the local communities about their water systems. We felt honored to live in a community, while working alongside several indigenous communities to improve their water quality.