>Would like to introduce you to a former ISU classmate and current inspiration. Mr. Wes Meier, Peace Corps volunteer in El Sauce…aka, San Jose, Nicaragua.
Somehow luck worked its way again and I was able to cross paths with him and had the opportunity to spend the day with Wes yesterday. I was checking out his site (community of 400 people) and projects, curious to know what life is like for a Peace Corps Volunteer.
So quick background:
-Wes studied Mechanical Engineering at ISU (smart chap!)
-He’s a co-founder of EOS (Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability) and long story short, he and some good peeps want to change the world by helping pull people out of poverty by implementing appropriate and sustainable technologies that serve their needs.
-And to top that, he’s also a Peace Corps Volunteer working in the agriculture sector.
-Oh wait there’s more: He’s already met the director of the Peace Corps and had Thanksgiving dinner with the US Ambassador in Nicaragua!
That’s not even half of it. After spending 24 hours with the guy, I’m motivated beyond words, seeing what he’s implemented this far, hearing his stories about what he’s teaching the people and how, not only the Peace Corps, but EOS is providing support.
In the last 6 months Wes has installed 23 improved ovens for his community (once 5 in a week!) and due to popularity, he’s now being contacted from other small communities in the mountains around other Peace Corp Volunteer communities to install more improved ovens. Because of the oven he installed in the store near his house, they’ve been able to turn it into a bakery, making breads twice weekly. (more profit and food for the people)
Made with old oil barrel, re-bar, bricks, mud and chimney. Brilliant!
(Can be done with or without a well or electricity) Pictured is a well with a manual pump, hose runs the water to a raised up water can for it to then be spread to the drip tape and to the plants.
He’s also implemented a few drip irrigation systems for local farmers. Usually farmers are only able to grow anything during the rainy season, no rain in the dry season (hence the name!). Having drip system gives the people the opportunity to have another harvest, potentially doubling intake for crops in a year and finally giving the local people the opportunity to purchase and eat vegetables that are local and affordable during the dry season. THE PEOPLE CAN EAT!
WOW, huh? And the best parts, he make, installs these projects with the people, helping them take loans out and sets them up on repayment plans that work for the people. All this annnnnnd at the same time he’s teaching them how to do it themselves. His goal, for them to sustain a better life after he leaves.
There’s more on his story. Check Wes’s blog. Check out EOS. Donate to EOS, it’s the giving season. Help pull people from poverty. After seeing it first hand, I see the potential. And Wes, if you ever read this, thanks for the hospitality, motivation and inspiration! Keep it up!
Wes headed off to the states for some holiday family time, good food and in his words “a good stretch on some carpet,” ha….enjoy that carpet with your suitcase. Wes, you’d think by now you’d know that backpacks are the only way to go!