Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Cerritos is No-where-town, Nicaragua. Several miles south of the regional center of Ciudad Dario, a dirt road heads off into the hills. Make that not so much a road as a rock-strewn track that probably makes a pretty good watercourse in the rainy season. Five or six miles out, beyond a one room school and over a mile beyond the last water source, sits Cerritos, a community of some 90 or so people who scrape out a living by subsistence farming. This place is so remote, it is hard to figure out why they ever chose to settle there, especially after hearing that they've drilled a series of well holes, all of which came up dry.
But there they are -- and there the good folks from the sustainable development project El Porvenir have helped the village construct shiny new latrines.
David Antonio Ruiz Rios and Marlon Andrades Cardoza , El Porvenir regional staff, led our party of North American tourists to this remote place, to see the new facilities.
The town's leader, Claudio, showed off the outhouses the community had built with El Porvenir's help.
Some Cerritans watched warily.
But soon the community crowded around. After all, we were a curiousity and an occasion for putting on their best clothes!
Curious boys pushed up front first ...
But little kids weren't about to be left out...
Nor were giggling girls.
In honor of the new latrines, the town musicians broke out their instruments.
Pretty soon there was a foot stamping party going on and a young boy started dancing.
A local mother checked out the fun.
Carole Harper who works with El Porvenir in Managua soon joined in.
And moments later other tourists were dancing with townsfolks.
Cerritos rocked that afternoon, all in honor of improved sanitation!