NY HELP Trip Report

Feb 20 - Mar 4,2006

El Calichal Group

Brian Krause, David Makepeace hijo (younger), Dick DeNise

When we arrived in El Calichal at noon on Wed. Feb. 22nd, the volunteers from the village were already working. Lunch was ready. After we ate and saw our accommodations, we went across the soccer field to the school to see what we were going to be helping with and to meet some of the people with whom we would be working.

The job was to remove the old fence and posts, lay down a footer and one course of block, install new posts and new fence (cyclone fence).This would close in an area about 3/4 the size of a soccer field.

Most of the materials were either on hand or close by. Fence posts are of 4x4 wood. The corner posts and three intermediate posts across the back are about 8x8 reinforced "poured in place" concrete approximately 8 feet high. The cyclone fence is about 5 feet high.

Stretching the Fence We began by digging for the footer, made of rocks and concrete, and the posts and removing the old posts. Then we laid down one course of block to give a start for the fence that is close to level. After setting the posts in concrete and letting them harden, we began stretching out the fence. We also started working up a spot for the seed bed.

We had three groups of about 10 male volunteers each rotating daily so we were able to do three phases of the project at the same time.

With about five days work, we were able to get half the fence up and all the posts in. The volunteers will finish the fence . They may also prepare more of the yard for seed beds or trees.

It was interesting to watch the people work on the project. If there was a small tree in the way of the fence, they didn't always cut it down. They moved it to a new spot out of the way.

I always enjoy working with the villagers and observing how they live and work together. El Calichal is more community oriented than some of the villages so watching the interaction between the people is very heart warming.

Dick DeNise
31 Mar 2006

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