Monday, January 11, 2010

Peru 2009 Part 2

Peru 2009


Planning for Drinking Water
Rebecca, Nicole and I flew to Cusco the next day.  Our friend Clara met us at the airport and took us on a Cusco city tour for four hours.  Her house is 200 meters from many Inca ruins where she played as a kid, so she knows the area well.  Our group first met Clara seven years ago when she was fifteen years old and selling candy on the streets. Several members of our group supported her and sent her to English school. She is now a guide for our tours. We ate dinner at her house and had coy (coo-ee) guinea pig. There is not much meat on a whole guinea pig and it seemed like a waste of time to cook it.  I think there is more meat on a leg of chicken. 
The following morning we drove one hour into the mountains to scout a new school location.  The village of Tucsan (not Tucson) was started in a pasture near the highway six kilometers from the bigger town of Pisac.  The elevation in Tucsan is about 9,000 feet. It was settled by thirty families who came from 3,000 feet higher up the mountain.  In Peru vacant land can be occupied by “squatters” who can take possession of the land if they live there and improve it. The village of Tucsan is a squatter settlement without roads or streets.  The houses are adobe mud brick huts built in the pasture.  The cows, goats, pigs, dogs and chickens roam between the houses.  The grass has been eaten and all that is left are piles of manure.  The only token attempt at sanitation is an adobe out-house with four toilet holes for the entire community.
We had a meeting with the village about building a school in Tucsan.  There is already a school in the bigger town of Pisac and the kids can take the bus six kilometers into town. After some discussion with the people of Tucsan they decided they needed water for drinking and washing.  Currently they need to carry all their drinking water from Pisac in five gallon buckets. The river near their village is full of Cusco sewage and can´t be used except to water the farm fields.  They said there was a lake higher in the mountains near their old village where they could splice into with pipes and have water flow down the mountain.


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