OBJECTIVE // With the money that Josh and I received for the PureWater Trike, we decided to use it towards a trip to implement a biosand filter project in Ecuador at Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve. I had previously written a proposal for the project with two other Engineers Without Borders members but we didn't get the funding, so when we got this money, it seemed like a perfect opportunity.
TEAM // Jack Boland, Natalie Cook, and Josh Gilberts
DETAILS // With only a loose plan and a very limited Spanish, we flew down to Quito, Ecuador during January Break 2013. We had be introduced to the area by Professor Catherine Woodward at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, who was also President of the Ceiba Foundation that ran Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve and focused on conservation in the area.
Our goal was to build a biosand filter at the Reserve's visitor center to help raise familiarity of the idea within the community. The hope was that this would be the first stepping stone in gaining traction with this technology in the community and, with an ongoing effort, would help spread this solution for water quality issues in the region. With this in mind, the trip was also an unofficial observation trip for UW Engineers Without Borders and has fortunately since then the chapter has established a partnership with the community.