RETAINING WALL to save our Edificio Grande
In August of 2022, I was contacted by several members of the community of Malingua Pamba concerning the devastation being caused to our ‘newest’ 2-story educational building which we call the Edificio Grande from the torrential rains. Several people in the community took it upon themselves to create a plan to address this issue. Meanwhile, there were many mingas dedicated to removing the dirt & mud rolling down onto the side of the building.
It appeared to me that the scope of this issue needed some professional advice. So, of course, I approached my two Johncitos who just happened to have (separate) trips scheduled to Malingua Pamba in the early part of 2023. With their research and expertise, they chatted with Paulino about potential designs. Below is a photo of my Thank-You-Dinner with them, their spouses plus a friend for their findings and recommendations.
As soon as the ‘dry season’ arrived, Paulino and other Malinguans started the work on creating a retaining wall to save our Edificio Grande. Paulino was able to get some big machinery from the parrochial to help – all CELM has to pay was for the fuel and the driver’s lunches. CELM paid for the workers – all of whom are from the community as well as for the materials (cement, form rental, etc.) Three months and over $20,000 later, this project was completed including the finishes touches of some strategically located water diversions and adobing the above-grade blocks. So, we saved the school building from the torrential rains/erosion while providing members of Malingua Pamba a living wage (and a source of pride). Sidenote: the super corrupt (as of 11/2023 ex-) president of Ecuador has made it almost impossible to earn even a subsistence living.