San Martin and Mazamitla, Mexico : Self Management and New Low Income Eco-Housing
For some 8 years FWOP have worked with San Martin to make this small settlement more livable. Initially, a gasoline generator from Texas was installed to supply two light bulbs per 10 houses. Later three solar panels were installed to substitute for the generator. Now they use them both. A TV antenna show that someone now watches TV.
Villagers had to walk mile or two to locate a bucket of water. So , our team located a spring some 2 miles away from San Martin. GPS help us determine it higher than San Martin. A gravity system of pipes pushed the water tank to San Martin, and finally lines to each house per water access.
Stan and Pato visited San Martin on 19th and sat down with Antonio the chair of the village committee. First we learned that the spring went dry some two years ago. Antonio had watched Tom Benjamin do the initial project. So he merely located another site of water in the ravine a site of old water tank and dug a hole and reconnected the system and water continues to flow to San Martin.
Second , the evaluated the generator – solar panel system and determine that we could merely relocate the panels and perhaps secure more sun light and thus , they may not need to use the gasoline generator for electricity.
Our next stop was near Mazamitla and the site of where some 500 houses for low income families. These houses will have some exciting features. Solar water heating systems on the roofs will provide warm showers . Bio-digestor had the bottom of the hill will receive all toilet waste. Methane gas will be piped to individual homes will allow families to cook meals without buying butane gas tanks or burning wood. They also have a rebate for program to reward families who recycle.
Currently, electric boxes are installed. The septic line have been laid out for all houses and come down the hill to be linked to the biodigestors. Finally federal permit will allow them to cut the trees down to then move ahead with constructing houses in November.