In 2003, in response to the dreams of our partner communities in Central America, CoCoDA began planning and fundraising for our first water system in El Zapote, El Salvador. This rather simple project took two years to complete. We had a lot to learn. Mr. Alan Winslow was key in championing this project with Rotarians in Evansville and Vincennes, Indiana, who helped raise about $10,000 for this pilot program.
The First Solar Power Water System in El Salvador
In 2010, thanks to the vision of Rene Luarca Maiti (Jerry), we completed our first solar powered water system in the community of Zacamil Dos. This project took nearly four years to plan, fundraise and implement. It was ambitious and cutting edge, the first community based solar power project in Central America. People like Carol Crimi of Kent, Ohio and Wayne Titus of Detroit, Michigan championed this project, raising nearly $30,000.
The First Sun and Water Conference in 2007
In 2017, CoCoDA held our first Sun and Water Conference. US solar engineer Ryan Zaricki joined our team and helped us create this incredible conference. This two-day gathering in Suchitoto, El Salvador highlighted four shovel ready solar powered water projects.
Over the next three years, people like Larry Lohman, Will Underwood, Ron Taggart, Paul and Phyllis Charbonneau, Jim Fuqua, Don Chery and the whole student body of the College of Wooster helped raise over $225,000 to bring affordable, sustainable water to El Rodeo, El Roble and Aguacayo in El Salvador and Zacataloza in Nicaragua.
We were getting better at planning and fundraising. These projects impacted over 2000 men, women and children.
The First Virtual Sun and Water Conference 2021
Today, we are in the midst of our most ambitious challenge yet. We are attempting to raise $150,000 for two major solar powered water projects that will bring clean, affordable, and sustainable water to over 2500 men, women and children.
We are trying to accomplish this feat in less than one year. Some old and some new champions are once again advocating for the people of Central America. We have about $128,000 pledged toward projects we hope to implement in January.
The First Solar Power System in Nicaragua
In the future, when I talk about this year, I’d like to mention your name and how you read this newsletter and decided to be one of those people who made the dreams of Central American men, women and children come true.
If you’re interested in helping us, you can see PowerPoints, project descriptions and other promotional materials about these projects – in both Spanish and English – at this link. Or you can visit our YouTube channel to view some powerful videos about these projects.
After you do so, give me a call at 317-503-5852 and join our team.