Spruce Grove Rotary Club continues work in Ecuador

Brad Mastaler speaking about the project on the group's Facebook page

Construction of a clean water system in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador coming in the spring.

The Spruce Grove Rotary Club is continuing their work outside of the community with a South American project planned for the spring.

The club will be constructing a clean water system in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador in response to a major earthquake that damaged the region's wells in 2016.

This venture will be part of a nearly 15-year relationship the local Rotary Club has established with Bahia de Caraquez . Now-Spruce Grove city councillor, Dave Oldham, initiated the connection in 2004 when he volunteered as a teacher in the region. The group has done several smaller projects, but this will be their first time being a primary international partner in a large-scale operation like this. 

Brad Mastaler of the Spruce Grove Rotary Club says he’s impressed by the amount of money they were able to raise for the project.

“The real story here is the ability to multiply those dollars raised locally. So from about $5000 Canadian or slightly less than $4000 American, we've basically been able to run a project that is worth $43,000 American," he said. 

The money was provided through a grant and collaboration between various Rotary Club groups. 

Malaster says access to clean water has far greater benefits than most people realize.

“We can do a lot to alleviate infectious disease. It [also] becomes a building block for community development and for things like equality for women," he said. 

He says the women of the community are generally in-charge of gathering water for their family, often having to walk long distances.  

While the group does have experience in the community, Malaster says the upcoming construction will not be a simple task because of the terrain and infrastructure in the area.

"Getting the equipment and materials in there is going to be a challenge with really muddy roads. [There's] no paved roads in the community. It's likely that construction will [have to] wait until the rainy season's over and that'll come in April," he said. 

About 750 people will be able to access the new water system.

Photo Source: Rotary Club of Spruce Grove Facebook

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