My work so far in the High Andes

Surveys in the community

I think adventure is a meaningless word when I look back to all of what I have been through since the beginning of my journey in Peru.

My thesis title seemed pretty simple: “Evaluating the feasibility of implementing an alternative water sanitation technology in a rural community in Peru”. But to achieve this, I have done and experienced so many and interesting things that I now believe I will never forget this thesis.

My first couple of weeks here were pretty calmed, knowing the beautiful mountains, warm people and specially the kind people from the NGO “Nexos Comunitarios” with whom I have worked with since the beginning, and finally reading as much as I can to get to know a bit of “Cuncani”, which is the community in which my thesis is focused on.

From interviews with the Municipality, Health Centers, NGOs and Private Businesses to more than face-to-face surveys in the community, my work here has been great. One of the funny things was when I heard from the President of the NGO that I needed to chew Coca leafs if I wanted to resist the physical intensity of climbing in the mountains at 3800m-4800m above the sea level and to not get dizzy while interviewing each of the families from the community. Indeed, in the two weeks I have spent in the community while doing the surveys, I have experienced terrible cold and fatigue but I definitely got stronger after that! The wonderful thing is that I got to stay in the home of the community member that was my translator (from Quechua dialect to Spanish) during my work; I ate, drank, slept, walked as much as they do and even played with their animals (which some of them they eat of course). So I got to experience the daily life of a community living in poverty and some of them in extreme poverty; of course I was in shock at the beginning, but after having the opportunity to talk and get to know them, I now have a wider perspective of many things.

I still have many things left to do and a short time to do them but I think we are all in the same place, ha!

Will let you know later how this experience will end.

P.S: Yes, I have seen too many cute llamas! And no, I cannot bring Coca leafs with me after leaving Peru. Sorry for that! 🙂

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