The latest news from Soloy:
The Medo House which will house volunteers and serve as a headquarters for Medo is being constructed. The house is located about 500 mts north from the Buen Pastor School in Soloy just before you reach the bridge at the Fonseca River. The house has two rooms. One is the official office for Medo and the other one is to accommodate Medo officials, volunteers and Medo supporters or other people involved. Each of the 2 rooms is 4 square mts. The volunteer room is big enough to accommodate three people at a time. The other 8 square mts is a big room that is open to the outside. It does have 5 beds underneath the roof however. And, large groups can camp there without any inconvenience. I have informed all the other Medo locals that we will be using the open space for regular seminars, meetings, training for community members, and to host locals and tourists for any use required. Latrines are available outside and there is currently no water. It is located a 30 minute walk from the school and health centre.
Water is the main problem at this time at the Medo house and also for the neighborhood and the Escuela el Buen Pastor. However, we are all interested to make the water to happen here. There is a chance that the water problem can be solved this year or next. A girl who runs an art group in Soloy (OCAB) has become a leader and has been elected by the people of Soloy in the recent election we had. Her name is Valeria Bejerano. She has expressed her enthusiasm to help with the water issues for everyone. The community members at the neighborhood in need and Adan are planning to hold a meeting with Valeria shortly about the water. The aqueduct might cost B/.10,000 dollars.
Making Medo official: A lawyer the one who is currently assisting Medo with its paperwork at the capital is submitting Medo to the government officials soon so Medo can be officially approved as non-profit organization to operate in the Comarca and which will help with its mission to promote sustainable development for Soloy, Besiko district and the Comarca. Also, I have met with the treasurer in David and he has officially agreed to support Medo and to help us with project development. He also will be responsible for our financial accountability and help us network with other people or groups that can provide other support for Medo.
The Environmental project that Medo and Pueblerino (An association based in Austria) will be working on for 2010 will be called Proyecto Ambiental Ngöbe. If everything goes well. The main objectives of the project are to create environmental awareness in the district and to improve drinking water quality and safety and sanitary conditions for low income families. The following organization will be involved are ANAM, Health and Education (MEDUCA) Ministry, PUEBLERINO and Medo. The Peace Corps volunteers in Soloy hope to take part in the project too.
Pueblerino is an organization based in Austria that Plinio’s friends and he helped to create while he was still alive. More info: http://www.pueblerino.info/soloy/soloy.htm
We are discussing the priority projects we think we would like to help to happen in the community within the next five years. We have also talked about a place where we can build a memorial garden for Plinio Bejerano Rios, who died in the flood.
A future project we are thinking about is to rebuild the old infrastructure (where the old garden used to be) in order to build rooms that people can stay in, similar to the ones in the Medo house. As well, we are in talks with the school about possible contributions from them towards rebuilding the garden. We hope that they can provide help from people, such as students, to help with the garden. We are hoping to plant many flowers, not just orchids, in order to create a garden.
Medical students: They keep coming to help in Soloy. There are four from Canada who came in July and one that was here for the month of June. She shadowed the doctor and also has been able to teach English.
Midwife Center: We will be working on it next year. Perhaps in the future, medical students can help in this center too. It is a long walk (4 hours), but that will be a good experience as well. We hope to be able to get medical supplies as well as general supplies for this center.
Latrine committee in Soloy: Adan has consulted with several individuals about setting up a local latrine committee to raise greater funds locally for more latrine construction and have the committee to help me to decide where to send them. There is a great amount of support and interest in this project.
Botanical Garden website: We will need to update the website for the garden. A statement about the founder, Plinio, should be posted there. It should basically talk about the fact that we have lost him and so therefore Medo will help continue its projects. He was part of Medo and he always helped to promote Medo everywhere he had the chance to do it.
We are looking for a teacher who can train a local or somebody like a volunteer with the computer knowledge to become the webmaster for the botanical garden website. http://www.soloy.pueblerino.info/english/etnoturismo.html
Adan's parents are willing to donate land for the new garden. It is ½ hrs from the Medo House. Plinio was planning to create his botanical garden station there. He had already marked a spot. He also took many tourist and friends he had to get to visit the site.
Father Joe Fitzgerald: Father Joe who works in Soloy has been helping us at Medo too. We have done a latrine project together and installed rainwater collection systems for five (5) families in a community called Quebrada Hacha. This community is two hrs away from Soloy by car. The people of course live in conditions similar to Soloy. Father Joe hired me to help out with the latrine construction and Amanda Gabster also came along to do the water testing part. Amanda took several samples of the water there and tested it in the water lab in Soloy and the samples came out positive for total coliforms and E. coli. Amanda has also helped to develop a link for the Concern America website to raise funds for the rainwater collection system project for Medo. We believe this option will help in the short term to improve the Besiko community members to access more potable or safer drinking water. Joe is also currently recruiting a volunteer to come to help to train the grade school teachers in Soloy. Adan is coordinating the ESL workshop for the teachers; we are holding this workshop at the Medo house.
Finally, we are planning to gather together on Sept 3, 2009 at the Medo House to remember and pray for all the people who lost their lives during the flood last year.
8/7/08 Flood in Soloy