holistic development

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About El Ojochal

El Ojochal is a community with a population of approximately 209 people

living in roughly 50 homes. It is an extremely rocky community, belonging to

the municipality of Amapala in the department of Valle. El Ojochal is primarily

an agricultural community, mainly harvesting corn and melons. A sizeable

percentage of the community works on nearby shrimp farms, although this

work is generally seasonal; it is not steady employment. There is a primary

school offering classes from kindergarten to sixth grade, and there is a

Water Council, Basic Sanitation Committee, and Caja Rural. El Ojochal will

soon be one of Global Brigades' holistic communities. Community members

have already worked with Medical, Dental, Water, Microfinance, and Public

Health  Brigades. Architecture Brigades are set to enter this community in

May 2014.


El Ojochal's Water Challenge

El Ojochal has never had a centralized water system providing an adequate

supply of clean water to all members of the community. Prior to Global

Brigades' arrival, there was a water system. However, only twelve houses

were connected to the system and it only worked sporadically. Community

members had also attempted to build a well to increase the supply of water

in the community. However, they could not find water despite digging 

approximately 40 meters below the surface. Therefore, community members

had to walk for upwards of one hour on a rocky path to arrive at the nearest

water source and subsequently lug water home in large buckets and bottles.

Given that each person can only carry a certain quantity of water, most

reported walking to the water source several times per day. During the dry

season, the trip was often even longer as the closest sources would dry-up.
Regardless of how where they found water, there was no central treatment
and few families treat the drinking water within their homes, increasing the
risk of waterborne disease.


The Water Solution for El OjochalOjochal Faucet.jpg

Water Brigaders from eleven different universities worked in El Ojochal

between December 2013 and February 2014.  During that time, student

volunteers worked with community members to:
     •  Dig an 85-foot deep well providing access to 200 gallons of water per


        per minute

     •  Install a pump to propel water from the source to the chlorination tank
     •  Lay roughly 2,500 meters of pipeline forming the distribution network
     •  Build a 10,000 gallon chlorination tank
     •  Install water connections to all houses
     •  Provide educational workshops to children in the community's primary

         school on water and health related topics.


Ojochal Tank.JPGIn addition to conducting workshops in El Ojochal's primary school in order to ensure project sustainability by education  the community about water usage and basic hygiene, student volunteers on Water Brigades also worked with students on Public Health Brigades to host a Health and Hygiene fair in January 2014.  During the extremely successful event,  community members and their children visited a variety of  booths designed to teach them about hygiene and sanitation.


To ensure the sustainability of the project, a Water Council  was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also trained by Water Brigades.



Water Brigades Chapters that Worked in El Ojochal
Water Brigades Chapter Month Volunteers
DePaul University December 2013 18
University of Virginia January 2014 12
Johns Hopkins University January 2014 3
Austin (Unaffiliated Chapter from UT Austin) January 2014 9
St. Louis University January 2014 21
University of Rochester January 2014 8
UC Berkeley January 2014 5
Boston University January 2014 7
Rutgers University January 2014 11
University of Victoria February 2014 12
Mount Allison University February 2014 19


Current Status

Last Visit: April 3, 2014
El Ojochal’s water system is functioning very well.  Flow rates at the tank and faucets are excellent.  The Water Council is properly administrating the project. Check back soon for more updates!


Visit Other Programs in El Ojochal

Global Brigades strives to implement a model of Holistic Development in communities through a system of collectively implementing health, economic, and education initiatives to strategically meet a community's development goals. Learn more about the other programs being implemented in El Ojochal:


Medical 2014 Icon Small.pngMedical Dental 2014 Icon Small.pngDentalEngineering 2014 Icon Small.pngEngineering Microfinance 2014 Icon Small.png MicrofinancePublic Health 2014 Icon Small.pngPublic HealthBusiness 2014 Icon Small.pngBusiness Architecture 2014 Icon Small.png ArchitectureCHW.pngCHW      

Project Overview
Beneficiaries 209
Volunteers 125
System Type
Project Cost
Pipes Installed
3100 meters
Hours of Education
Storage Tank Volume
10,000 gallons


Additional Information

General Community Profile

Water Methodology

Pre-Brigade Lesson Plans

Education Profile

Water Project Final Report

Follow-Up Report