Sunday, July 15, 2012

How to hand dig a trench 18 Km long

I (Eric) was privileged to visit the mountain community of Daldal in Ecuador over the last three days.  I went with a group of 17 interns from the USA.  We had a great time and saw a community working together to complete a large task.

As a bonus to the trip, I was able to go with my 12 year old son Kevin.  We had some great father son time and worked hard in the trenches.

We left Wednesday in the morning via van for Daldal.  It was a 5 hour trip that included lunch along the way.  We traveled to Ambato, turned south to Rio Bamba and headed east into the mountains to Daldal.   

Usually the elevation of 10,000 feet makes the temperature cold (45 degrees) and rainy.  We were incredibly blessed to visit in the dry season and experience 70 degree weather and sun.  Praise the Lord it was not raining.

Each day the people of the community would gather about 8:00 am and dig for 6 hours until 2:00 pm.  Each person was assigned 5 meters to dig to a depth of 4 feet.  130 people each day can dig about 600 meters.  As we dug, it felt like we were not making much progress, but at the end of the day we realized that the trench was really long.

Kevin digging in the trench

Huge earth worms in the volcanic soil

The community has already installed four spring capture points and installed 7 kilometers of pipe.  They are working on the last 11 kilometers of pipe that will bring water to each home.  There are 180 homes and nearly 1,200 people here.  Very large in comparison to the jungle projects I have worked on so far.

Let me tell you, these people work hard - really hard.  We are at a high elevation and the young mom's  who were digging in the ditches out dug me by about 50%.  It was very embarrassing! I was super sore, but it was worth it.

Hubert the cow and Kevin

At the community building where we were sleeping, there were cows just outside the door.  Kevin made friends with a cow whom he named Hubert.  We visited Hubert everyday and we made sure to say good-bye before we left.

On the last day we were invited to a community lunch.  They spread two tables end to end, covered it with a table cloth and poured the food on the tables.  After the prayer, each person just walked to the table and ate with their hands.  Efficient!  We had so much food here, the team was just hoping the community would stop feeding us.  The people were very friendly and we cannot wait to go back and see the project when it is complete.

Daldal Community lunch

Quichua man in Daldal


  1. What a great project and partnership!

  2. Congratulations!!! Is a very good page! thank you so much for do this! I am from Ecuador and so proud of be from here!
    God bless you guys! and yes! we'll do our part! because we have to save the water! that is really important!


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