Today was another big meeting day as we had arranged for Maria (Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla), Justino (Guadalupe Etla) and INSO to meet at the University (UABJO) to have Erik, Director of the Chemistry Department, give a tour of their wetland and explain in great detail how it works, how much it costs, and why the site in Santo Domingo would make a great location for this technology.
The meeting started at 11am and we finally ended about 2:30pm. We started off by taking a tour of the wetland. Maria and Justino kept saying “Wow I don’t believe what I am seeing and not smelling!!!” This walk-through was worth a million words and pictures. Before seeing the site they were both somewhat skeptical about the idea, and Carlos and Nelly (INSO) both commented that this is truly amazing! Erik then went through excerpts of several PowerPoint presentations to further explain the system, maintenance and costs. Then the discussion turned into a “design meeting,” with both Justino and Maria asking how a project like this could be implemented in their community. Erik was outstanding in explaining the collaborative process that would be used with UABJO (including many departments, and students). This would include technical expertise and direct student project education. Maria and Justino agreed that they could come up with (hopefully) ½ of the budget and much of the physical labor needs, depending on how much the federal and state governments are able to supply. To reinforce their commitment, Justino has already met with his community advisory council to discuss the project and they are fully supportive.
We left the meeting exhausted, and energized at the same time, and grabbed a cab to the Zocalo for a late lunch to celebrate another successful collaborative meeting. The rainclouds finally and our stroll home turned into a jog.