Posted by: iainjhunt | January 27, 2011

El Guabo Update: Compromisos

El GuaboLast week, the Pastoral de Agua team (that’s Virginia and yours truly) had a very productive meeting with the community of El Guabo. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this will be next community that Water for Waslala accompanies in the construction of their own water system.

During our meeting, each family signed a compromiso form. Now, compromiso doesn’t translate to compromise but rather promise– a promise to (1) contribute every month to the community, (2) to work at least one day per week during the construction of the system, and (3) to attend a community workshop on hygiene and environmental health.

You can essentially call it a contract between each individual family and the community as a whole. Because El Guabo will have a greater number of direct beneficiaries than other communities that WfW has supported in the past (over 50 people), we’re trying out a more structured system to manage the sweat equity, or the community’s labor contribution to the project.

The community water committee divided the beneficiaries into 5 work teams to correspond to each day of the week. Each team has a captain who keeps track of absences (which have to be made up in lieu of a fine paid to community fund). Implementing such a structure will help ensure that there are enough workers everyday to get the job done efficiently, and that each beneficiary contributes to the project equally.

The days I’ve spent in El Guabo thus far have given me the distinct feeling that folks are anxious to start digging. I, too, am ready to get my hands dirty.



  1. Love hearing about you getting your hands dirty, Iain!

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