Carijana, Bolivia

An evening soccer match after a long day at work. The main source of entertainment in Carijana is their soccer field.

About Carijana

Carijana is a vibrant community of about 50 families who all share a passion for soccer. Most days you will find everyone in the community gathered around the soccer court that they have in their community square, passing around a bag of oranges to snack on. This lovely community is located Northwest of the city of La Paz in the Andes mountains. It is because of their remoteness that they have come to EWB seeking help getting the resources they need. Most families in Carijana currently lack access to adequate sanitation, specifically latrines and hand-washing. This has contributed to numerous waterborne-illnesses among the community members, which affect their ability to farm and work. However, this does not stop the community from innovating and thriving. With so many brilliant minds in this community all they need is a strong foundation to support them.

Our Partnership


The community reached out to EWB Pitt in 2018, with the project being confirmed early in 2019, to design and construct personal latrines for each household. In May 2019, the travel team completed an assessment trip where they met with community leaders and members, tested the water for diseases/chemicals, surveyed the pre-existing health practices of the community members, assessed the current sanitation system, and began building a relationship with the community members. The travel team then worked with our chapter’s full project team to design a latrine with the community. The final design, chosen and agreed upon by the community, has been used to construct 20 latrines. An additional 15 latrines are still wrapping up after the team's trip to the community in August 2020. The goal is to construct 15 more in the Summer of 2023.

The project lead and community leader sign the Project Partnership Agreement which sets guidelines and expectations for the project.

The 2022 travel team poses by the sign for Carijana.

The 2022 travel team works with the community to distribute materials.

Project Timeline

Assessment

In May 2019, the travel team completed an assessment trip where they met with community leaders and members, tested the water to obtain baseline data, surveyed the pre-existing health practices and health beliefs of the community members, assessed the pre-existing sanitation system, and began building a relationship with the community members and leaders. Using the valuable information collected by the travel group, the club used that information to analyze and choose the best solution for Carijana.

Implementation

During the Fall of 2019 and Spring of 2020, we worked hard to decide and design the best sanitation solution. With input from the community, we chose dual pit pour flush latrines. Our original plan was to travel to Carijana over the summer to install the first 5 latrines. However, due to the pandemic, this was put on hold for a few months. Despite COVID-19, we are still moving forward with the project.

Implementation Trip 1: October 2020

While we cannot travel directly, we are continuing to make progress with help from our in country partner Engineers in Action (EIA). We have shipped the materials for the first 5 latrines along with a construction guide, a mason and a representative from EIA. The community had adobe bricks prepared that were used to construct the superstructure. The mason and EIA representative helped the community build the first 2 latrines and taught the community the construction process. After the EIA team left in early October 2020, we continued to remotely monitor the construction and installation of the other three latrines during the months of October 2020 and early November 2020.

We were able to send our education plan for health and sanitation as well as a maintenance guide for caring for the latrines. When possible, we will travel to assess progress, troubleshoot, as well as decide on a solution for the homes close to water sources. By using locally sourced materials and providing the community with the expertise needed for sanitation, EWB Pitt hopes to make a sustainable and lasting impact on the Carijana community during this and future assessment trips.

Implementation Trip 2: September 2021

After learning from our first trip to Carijana and getting feedback from the community, we had to plan for a redesign. We worked on the project during the pandemic and were hoping to travel in May and August of 2021. Neither trips were able to happen due to travel restrictions. In October of 2020, a remote implementation with the help of EIA was able to occur. A second remote implementation trip was conducted the first two weeks of September 2021. This was to send additional supplies for 15 more latrines as well as monitor their construction. All 15 of the planned latrines were constructed during the implementation trip. This success has brought the total number of latrines to 20 fully built. The community thus far has expressed excitement in getting these latrines built, and we hope to continue monitoring the functionality into the future.

Implementation Trip 3: August 2022

Our third round of implementation focused on public health data collection, distribution of materials, inspecting previous latrines, inspecting the pits for new latrines, educating the community on WASH practices provided by the WHO, and reestablishing our relationship with the community after not traveling for so long. We help meetings with the community leaders to address their questions and to emphasize latrine maintenance. The school children did a handwashing activity and learned how to build tippy-taps: a simple handwashing device that can be rigged using only a bottle, string, a wooden plank, and a nail. The community is currently wrapping up the construction of the additional 15, bringing the total number of latrines to 35. We hope to construct another 15 latrines.

One of Carijana's community members stands in front of his family's newly constructed latrine.