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El Salvador Project: Week Two

We started off this week having a community beach cleanup in Playa Cangrejera. Thanks to some new expat friends, we were able to collect 375 pounds of trash in 90 minutes! Sorting and organizing the trash took me another couple of days though... it is definitely quite a process. There were three giant bags of shoes alone.

This week we hired a local truck driver we know to help us collect tires and deliver them to the farm. The farm is about two hours from our house, but it was easier to do this first trip in our own neighborhood where we have been talking about the project and the tire repair shops already have been saving tires for us. Now we have someone lined up in the farm area to do our next deliveries.

We were able to fit 67 car tires and 11 motorcycle tires in the truck. Each layer of the walls will take approximately 48 tires so we have enough for the first layer that will be packed with gravel and then some!

The farm soil is so rich with nutrients but quite soft for driving on. We need to figure out a driveway situation soon but it is an expense we hadn't factored in. Just like the gravel, we had to get it delivered to the top of the hill and bring it all down. Luckily, we figured out how to roll them and it made it a little more fun with less physical strain.

We had to place the pipes for plumbing below the foundation. Big decisions to make on where the shower, toilet, and sinks are going! On our last construction project in El Salvador, we learned that you get what you inspect, not what you expect. For that reason, we wanted to do the plumbing ourselves. We got that done and gave the guys instructions to pack down all the dirt and put a base layer of gravel into the foundation and make sure everything was level. We called them yesterday and they confirmed that was done.

Monday we will be heading back to the farm to teach them how to pack tires with gravel and level them out. It may sound simple but there is definitely a technique to it and it is quite labor intensive. They say a beginner can only do about 5 tires per day and an expert can do 12 so we are hoping with two workers the foundation will be finished by the end of next week.

This weekend we also used the beach trash for an art workshop with the kids. We will share more with you on that in another post. All in all, it was a productive week. We were able to raise over $600 of our goal of $8500. If you would like to help us reach our goal, please donate!


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