Las Casillas

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Engineering
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health

Overview

Las Casillas is a community in the municipality of Talanga. There are about 70 houses with a population of 300 people. Community members in Casillas experienced a lack of clean water, personal hygiene, sanitation infrastructure, healthcare, and education.  Common colds, skin rashes, parasites, and diarrheal diseases are common. Few homes have concrete floors, proper functioning latrines, adequate water storage, or efficient stoves with chimneys. The closest health center is in Talanga, which is about a 3-4 hour walk from Casillas. It is not consistently staffed nor stocked with an adequate supply of medicine. School is only offered until 9th grade in Casillas. There are 54 students who attend school until 6th grade, and about 60% of the graduating class attend secondary school, which is about a 45-minute bicycle ride from Casillas.

Municipality: Talanga
Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 70
Population : 300
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 15
Education : Up to 9th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr 30 min

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Casillas currently does not have its own health center. There are Community Health Workers present and they see patients once a month for check-ups. The most common health issues include diarrhea, intestinal and respiratory issues, colds, and occasionally diabetes. If medication is not readily available, the CHWs must travel to the clinic in Talanga for more medical supplies. The government used to send doctors and/or nurses to the community every month for health check-ups, but lack of funds has discontinued these routine visits.

 

259

Brigade Volunteers

3,476

Patient Consultations

306

Pap Smears Performed

83

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

Las Casillas has a total of 7 Community Health Workers who were trained in June of 2017. Casillas was the centralized location, but the CHWs included volunteers from 5 smaller communities, in order to serve community members in all 6. The CHWs help relieve some of the patient load for the staff in the health center.  During their trainings, community members have learned how to treat common illnesses as well as about other health topics such as first aid, caring for pregnancies, and first response in emergency situations.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical Brigades use both the community center and the local school as their brigade site. The school has 3 rooms, where the various medical stations are conducted. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day.  Each brigade sees an average of 226 patients per brigade.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 400
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: ZARZALOSA
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL & COMMUNITY CENTER

 

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN LAS CASILLAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Texas Austin August 2014 24 New York Medical College April 2015 22
Explore Medical & Virginia Commonwealth University December 2015 44 University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa & University of Birmingham May 2016 26
DePaul University Medical December 2016 30 State University of New York Stony Brook May 2018 32

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS:

In working closely with the Medical program, the Dental program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of Medical Brigades. Most community members do not have regular access to dental care due to the lack of dentist within a reasonable distance.

462

Patient Consultations

724

Flouride Treatments

261

Fillings Performed

61

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical and Dental brigades use both the community center and the local school as their brigade site. The school has 3 rooms, where the various medical stations are conducted. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day.  Each brigade sees an average of 226 patients per brigade.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 400
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: ZARZALOSA
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL & COMMUNITY CENTER

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN LAS CASILLAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Texas Austin August 2014 24 New York Medical College April 2015 22
Explore Medical & Virginia Commonwealth University December 2015 44 University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa & University of Birmingham May 2016 26
DePaul University Medical December 2016 30 State University of New York Stony Brook May 2018 32

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LAS CASILLAS’ ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

When Global Brigades arrived in the community of Las Casillas, it did not have a water system that met the needs of the population. The system that previously supplied water to the community stopped working in 2011 due to a partial collapse. This was due in part to the drying up of the well from which water was pumped to a 15,000-gallon tank. After that, the community wasn’t able to find another water source or a way to finance a new water system. As a result, they were forced to carry water daily from a river a few kilometers away. The water carried from the river was used for consumption and other household uses. However, because it was untreated it increased the risk of gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, and parasites.

NA

Brigade Volunteers

279

Beneficiaries

5.2

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

NA

Average Community Volunteers

LAS CASILLAS’ ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

On July 28, 2015, Global Water Brigades signed a construction agreement with the Community of Las Casillas and the Municipal Government of Talanga. A new gravity-based water system was constructed, which is supplied by a natural water source located 5.2 kilometers from the community. Volunteers and community members collaborated to:

– Build a small dam at the water source
– Install a filter to prevent sand and sediment from entering the water system.
– Install 5,200 meters of piping from the dam to storage tank
– Construct a new 5,000-gallon storage tank funded by the local government
– Connect approximately 70 houses to the system
– Provide education seminars to children in the community on water and health-related topics.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, a Water Council and Basic Sanitation Committee were established and trained by Global Brigades staff.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LAS CASILLAS’ WATER CHALLENGE:

When Global Brigades arrived in the community of Las Casillas, it did not have a water system that met the needs of the population. The system that previously supplied water to the community stopped working in 2011 due to a partial collapse. This was due in part to the drying up of the well from which water was pumped to a 15,000-gallon tank. After that, the community wasn’t able to find another water source or a way to finance a new water system. As a result, they were forced to carry water daily from a river a few kilometers away. The water carried from the river was used for consumption and other household uses. However, because it was untreated it increased the risk of gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, and parasites.

43

Brigade Volunteers

480

Project Beneficiaries

5.2

Kilometers of Piping Installed

20,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

LAS CASILLAS’ WATER SOLUTION:

On July 28, 2015, Global Water Brigades signed a construction agreement with the Community of Las Casillas and the Municipal Government of Talanga. A new gravity-based water system was constructed, which is supplied by a natural water source located 5.2 kilometers from the community. Volunteers and community members collaborated to:

– Build a small dam at the water source
– Install a filter to prevent sand and sediment from entering the water system.
– Install 5,200 meters of piping from the dam to storage tank
– Construct a new 5,000-gallon storage tank funded by the local government
– Connect approximately 70 houses to the system
– Provide education seminars to children in the community on water and health-related topics.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, a Water Council and Basic Sanitation Committee were established and trained by Global Brigades staff.

WATER BRIGADES IN LAS CASILLAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
California State Polytechnic University Pomona & Imperial College London & London School of Economics September 2015 30
Tulane University March 2016 13

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LAS CASILLAS’ ECONOMIC CHALLENGE:

Agriculture, specifically cultivating corn and beans, is the main source of income in Las Casillas. The income in the community is not fixed as it is dependent on agriculture yield and its weather patterns. Not only do community members grow their own crops, but many men and women work as day laborers on nearby farms.

112

Brigade Volunteers

39

Loans Disbursed

14

Savings Accounts Opened

$10,300

Capital Invested

LAS CASILLAS’ MICRO-FINANCE SOLUTION:

In 2016, Global Brigades helped Las Casillas to establish their community bank. The bank has 15 female and 6 male shareholder, and the members meet in the bank’s own every month. They are able to offer loans and savings accounts to community members, so that families can plan and stabilize their finances. This is especially beneficial for farmers, so that they are able to take out loans before planting season, and pay them back after the harvest. Loans allow many subsistence farmers to now sell crops and not just use them for consumption.

LAS CASILLAS’ BUSINESS SOLUTION:

Las Casillas is in the process of establishing a new micro-enterprise in their community. Various Business Brigades have partnered with Las Casillas in identifying and developing this new business.

BUSINESS BRIGADES IN LAS CASILLAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
London School of Economics 2016 N/A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign May 2016 17
University of Southern California January 2017 20 Johns Hopkins University Graduate School January 2017 7
Pennsylvania State University March 2017 11 University of California San Diego March 2017 15
University Pittsburgn & Rice University May 2017 14

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LAS CASILLAS’ PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE:

Most of the houses have dirt floors and open stoves, leading to foot infections and respiratory issues. Only about 18% of the homes have concrete floors. Most houses also do not have latrines. Many community members in Las Casillas lack the resources needed to improve their homes and prevent diseases caused by unsafe living conditions. 

30

Brigade Volunteers

5

Eco-stoves Constructed

NA

Latrines Constructed

5

Water Filters Installed

LAS CASILLAS’ PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION:

So far, only one Public Health Brigade has arrived to Las Casillas to start implementation of the infrastructure projects. Volunteers and staff members will continue to work with community members to encourage the adoption of the public health products, increase cultural sensitivity and awareness by working side-by-side with qualified masons and project beneficiaries, build eco-stoves and latrines, deliver water filters, and conduct educational workshops emphasizing the importance of sanitation and hygiene in the local primary school. Each project will be sold at full cost with a loan offered by the community bank in Las Casillas. This was a great way for community members to invest in the health of their own family and to encourage their use and trust of the newly established bank.

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

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