Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Today is the day of INSO’s 25th Oaxaca Water Forum. The venue for the event is the Botanical Gardens of the Santo Domingo Church, about three blocks from the INSO office. Water for Humans is on the agenda for a presentation to introduce ourselves to the water interests in Oaxaca and to introduce our project to them. Maria Gonzalez and Camerino Santiago came from SDBB for this important meeting.
We went to INSO at our normal time to help transport equipment to the Botanical Gardens. We them helped set up the room and participants starting arriving before the room was completely set up. The first thing on the agenda was a tour of the gardens. This was done to make sure that late arrivals would not miss any of the session itself.
The Gardens were beautiful with many varieties of native plants throughout. There was also a section with a vegetable garden. Since the tour was in Spanish, we missed out on a lot of the discussion, but the gardens were very nice and tranquil place to reflect.
The first item on the agenda was El Pedegal, set up and run by INSO. Don Pedro, who donated the land to set up the demonstration site, was in attendance. Many of the permaculture features that have been put in place were explained and the impact that they have had on the property discussed.
Water for Humans was next. Nelly spoke for the team, since it was in Spanish for a Mexican audience. She introduced us, as well as herself, and explained our mission and how we ended up in SDBB with this particular project. She then went on and explained the situation that we are dealing with and where we are in the project. At the completion, a question was raised about our affiliation with the constructed wetland at UABJO and Humboldt State University and the Arcata Wetland. Those who knew about the demonstration wetland at UABJO were glad to know that we are associated with that team (through one of our board members). A second question/comment came from someone who seemed to be associated with the original treatment plant at SDBB. She said a lot that never was translated to us. But after Nelly addressed her concerns, Maria Gonzalez took the microphone and explained to the audience what the community is presently facing. When she finished, the entire Forum clapped and seemed to like what she said. There was a lot of support for what we are doing.
When we left the room to allow the forum to continue, all three of us (Nelly, Rick and Stan) were asked questions and given support for the project. One person who was very interested in constructed wetlands and asking a lot of questions found out that his organization has a meeting set up with us on Monday. Nelly was interview by two or three reporters and the forum continued and ended about 2 PM.
We helped clean the facility and transport the equipment back to INSO. This ended a full week for us and we looked forward to a restful weekend.