Wednesday, October 21, 2015

La Compra: Buying and Delivering Stove Materials

Text by Albizael Del Valle and Elizabeth Barnes

What makes a successful compra?
  • A 7 a.m. arrival at Pop Wuj (and an 8 a.m. departure to La Democracia market)
  • 14 hardworking stove recipients from 12 families
  • 5 above-and-beyond Pop Wuj student volunteers
  • 3 of their excellent teachers
  • 2 Pop Wuj interns
  • Carmen, Sonia, and Carmelina, who arranged everything (and defy categorization)
Carmelina, our fearless leader, starts the day by buying bricks. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
General Projects Coordinator Albizael Del Valle makes sure the team inside the truck is ready to load bricks. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
Everyone hangs on tight as our truck makes it way through Xela. (Photo by Albizael Del Valle)
  • 36 chimney tubes and 12 "sombreros," doors, and stove tops from the ferreteria
  • 1400 bricks
    (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
  •  24 costales of clay
Each stove recipient brought 2 costales, long, tough bags of woven plastic that we used to haul barro, or clay. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
(Photo by Albizael Del Valle)
  • 12 bags of cement
With the cement truck backed up against our truck, unloading the bags was easy. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
  • 360 cinder blocks
  • An indeterminate but huge load of sand
Navigating the windy dirt roads was often a challenge. (Photo by Albizael del Valle)
  • 2 trucks and 1 SUV to carry everything (and everyone) to el Valle de Palajunoj
(Photo by Albizael Del Valle)

Sometimes we were able to back the trucks right up to the families' door, but sometimes we had to carry everything a few hundred feet to the houses. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
  • 2 beautiful pueblos, Llanos del Pinal and Xecaracoj
The valley lies at the base of Volcán Santa Maria. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
  • 12 cadenas (chains) of people unloading bricks and cinder blocks
(Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
    (Photo by Luke Strohbehn)
  • 6 1/2 hours of gorgeous weather, seamless teamwork, and tireless dedication
(Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)

(Photo by Luke Strohbehn)
(Photo by Albizael Del Valle)
Stove recipients pause with Carmen (third from left) and Carmelina (third from right) at the end of a long morning of material purchases and deliveries. (Photo by Elizabeth Barnes)
Thank you to everyone who helped load and unload 12 stoves' worth of materials!  This morning we sent two teams to start building the first stoves of this group.

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