A team of seven local Rotarians, along with two of their family members, traveled to the Dominican Republic for a week to join other Rotarians from Maine and Canada.
The group was originally slated to install BioSand water filters, but wound up doing much more.
“Over the last few years, the Houlton Rotary Club has been actively involved in raising money and securing grants in support of the BioSand Water Filter Program at the Good Samaritan Hospital in the Dominican Republic,” said Rotary spokesperson Amy Hocking. “This year, local Rotarians were able to participate in using these funds to assist the people of the Dominican Republic by installing water filters in the homes of the individuals living on the plantations, where the sugar cane cutters and their families live, to have safe and healthy water to drink.”
Also during the trip, Rotarians were able to go one step further and participated in the construction of latrines and also a cement burn pit to dispose of the garbage. The team mixed mortar and cement with only minimal tools, as electric equipment is useless in villages without any power. The Rotarians in that week were able to see the projects almost completed, Hocking said.
The team also installed around 100 BioSand water filters, which are all natural systems that filter out parasites and bacteria. Along with the installation of the filters, these teams of Rotarians were able to participate in the education on sanitation, hygiene and focusing on hand washing which will all help to reduce disease and promote health for the people living in the villages.
The team of Rotarians presented to the Houlton Rotary Club this week and shared their experiences of the culture and the vital work that was completed in such a short trip.
“The team would like to thank again the Houlton Water Company for their support of this project, the Houlton Rotary Club for their support along with local business and community members who made this trip a success,” Hocking said.