Posted by: waterforwaslala | July 19, 2010

Villanova Engineering Student Reflection

By Rebecca LaMarca, Villanova Engineering student who visited Waslala in Spring 2010

After visiting and promoting wellness in the communities of Waslala, Nicaragua, the most challenging part of my experience was seeing how people in the mountainous communities lived and the health issues that rise from their daily living.  These issues include osteopathic problems, urinary tract infections, malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory problems.

The people sleep on wooden boards, floors, and sometimes in hammocks, which creates osteopathic problems. The men go through vigorous physical labor working and the women have many children both providing support for their family. In addition, wearing and sweating in the same clothing in such hot and humid climates can create rashes and urinary tract infections, which can lead into further infections. The people live in one roomed wooden houses with many openings that let in many insects such as the mosquitoes that carry malaria.

The Waslalans do not recycle and burn all the plastic bottles.  The smoke of burning plastic contains toxic particles; these toxic particles can cause cancer when inhaled.  When these burnt particles fall back to the ground, they contaminate the soil for many years and may render vegetables and fruit harvested from gardens in these areas unsafe to eat.

Although these issues are extreme, the biggest issue right now is not having clean water. Many people use water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and washing with water that is fed in from springs that are not treated and contain evidence of harmful bacteria.

The biggest impact this trip had on me was experiencing the difficult the conditions that people in Waslala have to live. It was very difficult and made it the most challenging part of my experience because I could not break down these barriers of living a healthy lifestyle.

Photos from my trip

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