San Miguel de Allende_GAIA_PART 1


Presentation Description

San Miguel de Allende Mexico from a different perspective.


Presentation Transcript

Slide 1: 

Click to begin San Miguel de Allende, Mexico from A different perspective

Slide 2: 

This is the story of a non-profit organization working in Mexico to bring about important changes in the lives of rural inhabitants around the high desert community known as San Miguel de Allende.

Slide 3: 

This non-profit organization is known by its spanish initials: GAIA or Interdisciplinary Environmental Action Group

Slide 4: 

To Contact GAIA From USA: 011-521-415-119-0121 From Mexico: 415-119-0121 Citlali Caldera: [email protected] or Paul Cushman: [email protected]

Slide 5: 

Part 1 The Lack of Potable Water & Sanitary Services

Slide 6: 

Many Americans are living in or have visited this popular “ex-pat” community. It is usually seen as a quaint retirement destination, with an authentic “Mexican” culture.

Slide 12: 

But, there is another side of this region that few Americans are aware of. It is the rural surroundings – one of the most impoverished areas of Mexico.

Slide 13: 

The lack of potable water and sanitary services is the common denominator among the rural communities around San Miguel de Allende. The resulting consequences: sickness, malnutrition and in many cases death of its inhabitants.

Slide 14: 

The rural communities urgently need adequate sanitation services and drinking water.

Slide 15: 

The most common means of sanitation is the outhouse, if it even exists. This system has demonstrated itself to be inadequate in resolving sanitary problems in the country. Outhouses can contaminate the aquifers and other sources of drinking water, provoking illness and even death, especially among the young.

Slide 16: 

This outhouse is located on the playground at the primary school at Rancho Nuevo Villa de Guadalupe, serving 40 students.

Slide 17: 

Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of Citlali Caldera and the rest of the GAIA team, the children are no longer subjected to such inhumane and unhealthy conditions. Concrete “toilet”

Slide 18: 

Now the children have a bathroom that merits using. Many times rural inhabitants represent the forgotten and marginalized. They deserve a life of quality and dignity in all respects.

Slide 19: 

A big part of this project is education. The children are learning for the first time that they need to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. They are happy with their new facilities and want to show us what they have learned.

Slide 20: 

GAIA realized that in order to change people’s habits, it is much easier to start with young people. Therefore, they chose the primary school as the location of the initial pilot project.

Slide 21: 

Isabel, a 4th grader, is telling us how the children have learned to use and care for a new kind of toilet, called a “dry” toilet or composting toilet. It doesn’t work the same as a water-based toilet that Americans are used to.

Slide 22: 

Signs on the wall demonstrate how to properly care for and use it. And the kids are very proud of this.

Slide 23: 

The first thing we notice about this toilet is that there is no water tank on the back. Secondly, there is a bucket of dry leaves next to it.

Slide 24: 

For going “popo” the lid is lifted. Excrement drops into a concrete vault beneath the floor, much the same as in a standard outhouse. The difference here, is that urine is diverted, via a built-in baffle, or separator, keeping the feces dry. This actually keeps the feces from producing odors and aids the decomposition. lid Urine baffle

Slide 25: 

After each use, the paper and a handful of dry leaves are dropped in, covering the feces. Instead of leaves, a mixture of dry earth and lime or ashes could be used. Keeping the fecal matter dry is the key to making this work without offensive odors. Dry leaves

Slide 26: 

For the men and boys, there is a urinal. The urine is collected in a separate container, the same as for the girls. It is diluted with 5-10 parts water and then used as fertilizer. It has a very high nutrient value: nitrogen, phosphorous and potasium. Urine

Slide 27: 

In this manner, an ecological cycle is created. Human waste becomes a resource, used to grow food, which in turn, is consumed by humans.

Slide 28: 

The typical bathroom has two toilets. The one on the left is used for approx. 6 months, while the one on the right is used for decoration. When the vault beneath the first toilet becomes full, usage is switched to the one on the right.

Slide 29: 

During the 2nd six month period, when the second toilet is being used, the excrement in the first vault continues decomposing and becomes compost. All the dangerous pathogens are killed during this stage. Thus, after 12 months, the compost is ready to be put into the garden. Again, instead of a waste product, they have a resource: organic fertilizer for the soil. Vault # 1 Vault 2

Slide 30: 

Every six months the process is repeated. Each time there is a maturation or decomposition period. The alternating use guarantees sufficient time for the fecal matter to break down into compost, creating another ecological cycle: human waste >> resource >> food >> human consumption.

Slide 31: 

It is very important to understand the maintenance required when using a “dry” toilet prior to installing one. Without a commitment it will not function properly. With proper use, dry toilets can be used not just in “outhouse buildings” We have used them in our home inside of a standard indoor bathroom.

Slide 32: 

Nature is a great integrator of systems. Natural elements are continually recycled, without waste or exhaustion of resources. Contrary to the principle of sustainability, sanitary systems used in our cities and towns are “flush and discharge” that is, unidirectional.

Slide 33: 

Water-based toilets, besides using enormous quantities of running water, require huge investments for drainpipes, sewer lines, treatment plants and disposal of treated sewage. As a result, in some communities in Mexico and even in the USA, black water is discharged without sufficient treatment, some of which ends up in rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

Slide 34: 

As children, we used to swim in this pond, enjoying the lazy days without a care. Nowadays, it is contaminated with sewage and smells putrid.

Slide 35: 

Sanitation problems need to be resolved in a systematic manner. Contamination of water is an ecological, health and social issue, that needs our immediate attention.

Slide 36: 

According to the statistics found in studies of sanitation in the municipal region of San Miguel de Allende: 27.5 % of households have no toilets. 13.4 % have no public water.

Slide 37: 

The “Dry Toilet” is a closed circle system, since it turns human waste into a resource. This type of sanitation treatment has 3 main highlights. It: 1. Converts human excrement into a resource. 2. Prevents illness and death and contamination of our water supply. 3. Uses the composted resource as a benefit for growing food.

Slide 38: 

WHAT NEXT ? Phase 1 – The primary school Phase 2 - Expand the project by building bathrooms for 30 households in the village of Rancho Nuevo. This is currently in progress with great success. Phase 3 - Expand it to provide bathrooms to approximately 15 communities in the region with the same conditions and needs. We need your help in funding this stage.

Slide 39: 

If you would like to help with this project, speak with the program presenter, or contact GAIA directly. We thank you.

Slide 40: 

Rancho Nuevo Villa de Guadalupe Realizado por Paul Cushman - [email protected] y Marta Sosa

Slide 41: 

To Contact GAIA From USA: 011-521-415-119-0121 From Mexico: 415-119-0121 Citlali Caldera: [email protected] or Paul Cushman: [email protected] See also: San Miguel de Allende_GAIA_Parts 2-4

authorStream Live Help