Here are notes from ESF’s Engineers without Borders, communicated by Ana Flores…

We awoke to las gallinas cantando [roosters’ crowing] at four in the morning and contemplated the day’s tasks for the community water supply project. We were no longer home in NY but up in the mountains of the Buena Vista community on the north coast of Honduras. Taking a look over the valley – it really was a Buena Vista. We had spent the night in an earthen walled guesthouse stuffed with bunk-beds that has been generously offered to our SF Engineers without Borders (EWB) travelers since our project’s genesis in 2008. The smell of strong Honduran coffee being brewed by our hosts helped raise us out of our bunks; we were motivated to give back to the village. After breakfast we hiked nearly 2 km up steep mountain slopes to report to the maestro de projecto and Junta de Agua. These water board and project leaders would supervise our work with for the next week. Despite language barriers limiting our communication to a mixture of broken Spanish and hand signals, our village and EWB team came together in a close partnership.

Two ESF EWB members, Two Buena Vista villagers. One big tank.

Working alongside the villagers, we happily dug, laughed, and exchanged “Que pasa?” and “What’s up man?”. Digging the trench for the community water supply pipeline and constructing the break pressure tank was tough work. We were excited to finally be in Honduras and the blisters forming on our hands from days of swinging a pickaxe made Syracuse seem so far away. The first day was long, but the days only grew shorter as we learned from our village hosts and slid into an efficient routine. The hard work was noticeably moving the project forward and everyone involved could see the physical beginnings to the community water supply system.

EWB group members with Buena Vista villagers.

And if the vision of a reliable clean water source for Buena Vista wasn’t enough motivation, the village offered more than just work. As we walked down the mountain toward Buena Vista we were greeted with Yolanda’s home cooked meal of savory rice and beans, with thick corn tortillas as well as the joyful cries from the children asking for a game of fútbol [soccer].

Find us south east of Olanchito, Yoro, Honduras. Hike in from Trojas!