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Travel Dates: August 17 - August 27, 2012

Travel Team Students: Isaac Murphy, Becca Herron, Brian Anderson, Brent Markwadt

Travel Team Mentors: Kim Haglund, Cameron Klos, Mustafa I., Derrick Passe, Jed Greenwood

Updates from the States

Wednesday, 8/22/2012, 8:00 PM

Hi Everyone!

This is Charlie. I Spoke with Mustafa this afternoon: he has been very sick the last few days and will be unable to join you in country. He plans to contact the travel team to get updates on the progress of the dam assessments as well as ask a few questions he has for the group. Please communicate with Feliciano and Liz that there will be no need for transportation from GUA to Comalapa, only transportation to GUA for Jed tomorrow 8/23/2012. Also, please, keep the wiki updated as the state-side team is relying on this page for assessment activities and developments.

Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your time in Guatemala.




Friday, 8/17/2012, Day 1


  • Travel Day, and meet with our NGO, Long Way Home


  • Made it to Guatemala, Thomas (from Feliciano) brought us to Feliciano's Hotel
  • Went shopping in the market, got first days worth of Breakfast and Lunch
  • Dinner will be provided by Feliciano every day
  • Met with Liz of Long Way Home. Discussed plans for Sima visit and APROMAC meeting

Saturday, 8/18/2012, Day 2


  • Perform Sima RWHS check-up, 9:00 am
  • Meet with APROMAC in Agua Caliente, 1:00 pm
  • Meet with Juana, the translator, 6:30 pm
  • Discuss Feliciano's sale of EWB pipe and request documentation


  • Didn't have access to the school at Sima, so we only performed the checklist on the outside pipes. Found that one of the First Flushes was plugged and that two ends of the pipes were no longer plugged by mortar. Other than that, pipes were intact, slanted downwards, and the First Flushes were collecting sediment.
  • Went to Sargento del Refugeo to check out a broken pump. The pump keeps shutting off, presumably because the relay keeps tripping. Our action will analyze what we saw (Cameron took pics) and give them a recommendation for the trip setting on the relay.
  • APROMAC Meeting: Agua agreed with the MOU, talked about working as a team with us, agreed with the 10% and asked if they could supply us with locally secured materials (We agreed that they would pay 10% plus supply labor on top of that). Only people from Dam #3 were present, and they couldn't vouch for the other dams to provide guides. Derrick's impression that the other dams were told, but they didn't show because harvest was happening (APROMAC ships berries everyday). Attendees at the meeting were Don Goyo, Don Juan, and three others from Dam #3.
  • Dam #3 brought up extending the height of their dam by a meter.
  • Planned community survey meeting with teachers at the school for Tuesday at 12:30 at the school.
  • Planned future APROMAC meeting with representatives from every dam for Friday at 5:00 pm


  • The pumps are in place at the dams from October until May
  • Dam #3 has collected Q4000 (internally, not from the entire APROMAC) for this project
  • Suggested packing: More toilet paper, wrist watch

Sunday, 8/19/2012, Day 3


  • Assess Dam #3
  • Conduct community surveys


Dam #3:

  • Jed and Isaac - Soil samples and classification. Collected 1 sample to bring back. Did not find any bedrock upstream of the dam, but hit something hard behind the pumps downstream and covered by about 2.5' of sediment. Found that "bedrock" was actually a very hard clay matrix.
  • Cameron, Brent, Brian - Took measurements of Dam #3, including cracks, leaks, outstanding features.
  • Jed, Isaac, Brian, Derrick, Liz - Took 8 cross-section measurements and surveyed the flood plain around Dam #3. The reason for so many cross-sections was to estimate the volume of erosion behind the dam. Measured the reservoir with the spillway unblocked. Then we blocked the dam with three boards and measured the area that flooded behind the dam (reservoir).
  • Talked to Miguel (our guide for the day), and he said that they do not dredge the dam. During the dry season when the spillway is blocked with boards the sediment builds up to about (~)53" down from the top of the dam (well below the inlets for the ram pumps). During the rainy season, the boards are removed and the sediment is naturally taken away by the rushing water. This means that during the rainy season, the sediment is about level with the bottom of the unblocked spillway (there is a dip in the sediment right in front of the spillway).
  • Don Goyo made an appearance at Dam #3. He said that there used to be migratory fish that swam upstream, called poopah (sic). Now with the dams in place, they no longer come upstream, but he said that little ones did make their way downstream. (Does this mean that there are some mature poopah upstream/in the spring behind Dam #1?)
  • When asked about his initial reason/vision for bringing EWB into Agua Caliente, Don Goyo said that he wants to improve his community and inspire those in Agua to invest in improvements.
  • Mustafa still needs to send the fill-out sheets for the Dam subgroup.


  • We still need to measure the flow-rate from the spill-way
  • Collect a sample of the hard clay matrix and bring back in one of Jed's bags. Perhaps we should do this before Jed leaves.
  • Survey group take a GPS point at their chlorinated water tank.

Community Survey Update:

  • Juana lives next to a civil engineer, so see if he has equipment that we could use. Ask if Juana knows him.
  • Waders would have been nice.
  • Rebar was used to test depth of sand.
  • Community surveys go: 9 surveys completed. 7 left in APROMAC, almost every household is done. Juana said do more houses that are outside APROMAC. President of COCODE is making a list of houses for us to survey.
  • Common requests :roads, Centro de Salud.

Dam Update:

  • Verified Dam 3 measurements, enough CAD drawings. complete with holes, cracks.
  • Only thing left to do is take and stitch together pics together,
  • Mustafa - Look at shelf.

Survey Update:

  • Don Goyo said water in storms only raises 1/2 meter above the dam.
  • Dam crest profile, including spillway
  • We should still get some upstream topo.
  • They need more freebaord.

Keep overflow armored where it is.

  • There rip rap is not enough, you can see rip rap washed downstream.
  • Don Goyo said water drops 1 inch for every pump at the dam.
  • Don Goyo said they wanted to add more families, not more pumping range.
  • They do not dredge
  • Look into the fish ponds

Soil Testing Update:

  • 4 samples, sediments upstream from 6.5 feet, silty clay, low plasticity, low organics,
  • downstream ,left abutment, characterize they clay.
  • Recommend to Dam 3 to take stops out slowly to make the reservoir empty slower and decrease the energy rate through the spillway.
  • Mostly exposed on the right edge.

Monday, 8/20/2012, Day 4


  • Assess Dams #1`and #2
  • Conduct Community Surveys


  • Assessed Dams #1 and #2
  • Conducted Community Surveys
  • Attempted to communicate to Don Lucas to change the Sima visit to Thursday


Community Surveys:

  • 16 surveys completed, talked to severl teachers at the school in Agua (~5), and a few others that were teachers not from Agua.
  • Nobody surveyed was in APROMAC, and none had pumps.
  • 1 family sold to Aliar, but other than that none sold Blackberries.
  • Teachers suggested lots of building structures, more structures, library, social gathering area


  • Complete measurements were made on Dam 1
  • Dam 2 was more challenging, everything was hard to reach.

Soil Classification:

  • Took a sample at Dam #1
    • Lots of organic matter, roots, etc.
  • Two soils at Dam 2, "bedrock" and Alluvial soils, lean clay material, took a sample of that, took penetrometer samples.
  • Looked at seepage rate, 1/2 gallon a minute, .2 GPM at two areas of seepage.
  • Don Goyo said they put steel and concrete at the base of Dam #2, at least under the right abutment.


  • Dam #1 looks good
  • Dam #2 profile not very good, we took the first restrictive area we saw, the natural channel was farther downstream.

To Do:

  • What is that C shaped structure that is in the water by the spring by Dam #1? CRV - The C-shape concrete structure in the reservoir of Dam #1 is the mount to the previous diesel-powered pump. The small building on the other side of the dam wall from the mount is the original pump house. The pump was decommissioned a long time ago after fuel and operation costs prohibited effective use/profit of the system.
  • Tell them to take out the stopblocks when a hurricane is approaching.
  • Have Mustafa look at the rip rap around Dam #2 and see what he thinks about it
  • Probe around the base around Dam #2
  • Measure flow-rate at Dam #2
  • Take GPS point at Dam #2

Tuesday, 8/21/2012, Day 5


  • Survey team meet teachers at the school at 12:30
  • Roberto Quina meeting in the morning, discussing COCODE


  • Secondary school visit:
- Asked headmaster if kids were staying in school longer because kids didn't have to spend as much time in fields.  The more productive the farming becomes, the longer kids can stay in school.  There were more boys than girls in class: girls doing work with their moms in the house.  Classes weren't quite full.  7, 8, 9 grade.

Dam Update:

  • Dam 4 - Well built into the embankment, structurally sound. It was formed with corrugated metal. All measurements were acquired.
  • Dam 5 - Talked to Roberto, he indicated that they had modified the dam after original construction. When Hurricane Agatha came, the middle portion blew out. they thought that they had weakened the dam in their modification. After the storm they cut a new notch to concentrate the flow. Rocks in the concrete almost went through the width of the dam. Almost a boulder wall with mortar in between.
  • This dam was very difficult to get to.
  • Roberto indicated that they would like to rebuild.
    • They indicated that they wanted to fix the scour problem.
  • Check the depth of, width, thickness of energy dissipator on dam 5.
  • Height of the water flowing over all of the dams.
    • Use broad crested weir for rectangular cross section.
  • Shoot more upstream on Dam 3 with the level.
  • Take soil sample of dam 2 upstream sediment.
  • Bedrock rock sample at dam 3.
  • Ask if they've thought about building more dams
  • Look at dam 2, get Mustafa thoughts about mortar in between the cobbles

Wednesday, 8/22/2012, Day 6


  • Originally planned day to visit Sima


  • Fun day


  • Recommend removing stop-logs slowly at the end of every dry season.
  • Prevent over-topping on right side of Dam 1 with sand bags temporarily. Two sandbags.
  • Mortar at Dam 2, Derrick look at that in more detail
  • Look at best places for abutments at Dam 3.

Thursday, 8/23/2012, Day 7


  • Jed leaves at noon, Mustafa arrives
  • New day to visit Sima, maybe around 8:30 am, bring Liz along if she wants
    • Don Lucas does not have a phone, so make sure he knows


  • Jed left and was taken to the airport, but Mustafa did not arrive due to illness
  • The entire team went to Simajhuleu. We performed water tests, installed the fall arrest hook, covered the hole in the cement tower with a cement slab, and completed the checklist. A more in-depth summary of this will be posted later.

Dam #1:

  • Took the GPS and walked around the reservoir upstream of Dam #1, thus giving us a rough estimate of the area of the reservoir. Along with the elevation reading that was taken on Monday, GPS recording at Dam #1 is complete.
  • Took comprehensive photographs of Dam #1, concentrating on the face and spillway. Documented every crack, irregularity, and structurally sound and unsound area on a rough sketch.
  • Using a sharp-crested weir model, took measurements of the water falling over the spillway and calculated flow-rate. As a note, the spillway at Dam #1 was blocked by boards, and there was some water seeping through. Also, the top of the spillway (which was a board) was not flat, so we blocked most of the flow into a triangular section for the weir measurements.
  • Conducted water tests of Nitrites, Nitrates, Turbidity.

Dam #2:

  • Took upstream soil sample at Dam #2. Stored in bag and labelled
  • Took the GPS and walked around the reservoir upstream of Dam #2, thus giving us a rough estimate of the area of the reservoir. Also took an elevation reading, so GPS recording at Dam #1 is complete.
  • Blocked spillway and took comprehensive photographs of Dam #2. Looked at concrete and cobblestone structure, looking specifically for mortar between the stones. Didn't see any, but that still doesn't mean that it isn't there.
  • Conducted water tests of Nitrites, Nitrates, Turbidity.
  • Took measurements for a weir model of the flow-rate.

Dam #3:

  • Conducted survey upstream and around bend at Dam #3.
  • Conducted water tests of Nitrites, Nitrates, Turbidity.
  • Took comprehensive photographs.
  • Took a rock sample of the clay-matrix material downstream of Dam #3. Stored in a bag and labelled.
  • Took weir measurements.

Friday, 8/24/2012, Day 8


  • Continue assessment of Dams #4 and #5
  • Second APROMAC meeting at 5:00 pm at church
  • Cameron should email some of his pictures to Mustafa so that he can take a look at them and reply with his input
  • Data Organization, start filling out the 522 Post Assessment


  • Assessed Dams #4 and #5
  • Started filling out Post Assessment
  • Had second meeting with APROMAC

Saturday, 8/25/2012, Day 9


  • Take GPS points for future and existing holding tanks.


  • Took GPS points for future and existing holding tanks.

Sunday, 8/26/2012, Day 10

Fun Day, went to Mount Pacaya and Antigua

Monday, 8/27/2012, Day 11


  • Travel Day, leave Guatemala and arrive back in the States

Subgroup Packing List


  • Tarp
  • Plastic bags
  • Ponchos

Dam Subgroup

  • Camera Responsibility - Cameron, it is his personal camera
  • Note-taking supplies, including in-country fill out forms
  • 25' and 100’ tape measures Recommend everyone bring one
  • Shovel Responsibility - Cameron - Foldable. Verify if Long Way Home has one we can borrow
  • USDA Soil Texturing Field Flow Chart Responsibility - Isaac, please confirm
  • Hammer Responsibility - Longway home - Confirm availablity
  • Stake Responsibility - Find in Country stick or rod
  • Level Responsibility - Cameron - Belongs to xxx, it is electronic
  • Folding Rule Responsibility - Find in Country stick or rod
  • Stopwatch Responsibility - Cameron - Use wrist stopwatch
  • Luggage Scale Responsibility -Becca- please confirm
  • Plastic Boots or Wadders We do not currently have
  • Rope We do not currently have

Hydrology Subgroup

  • Trimble GPS Responsibility - Isaac
  • Hach 890 Colorimeter Responsibility - Isaac and Becca. Belongs to Adam Klecker or Brown and Caldwell
  • Inclinometer Responsibility - Isaac. Belongs to Walter Eschenauer of SRF
  • GPS Responsibility - Isaac and Becca. Belongs to EWB
  • Soil Bore Responsibility - Isaac and Jed. Belongs to Barr
  • Transit and Level Rod Responsibility - Isaac and Jed. Belongs to Barr
  • Penetrometer Responsibility - Isaac and Jed. Belongs to Barr
  • Camera Purpose - Record ground cover for determining Manning's n, and for determining grain/rock/foliage size/type
  • Ruler To be placed in all pictures to tell relative size of items in picture.

Communication Subgroup

Personal Packing List

  • Passport
  • Copy of travel insurance card
  • Photocopies of credit cards, insurance card, ID, passport, social security card
  • Only bring in your wallet what you need
  • Call credit-card companies and tell them you're going
  • Spending money - $400
  • At least one person should have a money belt
  • Toilet Paper - also carry some with you when you're working
  • 2 hefty water bottles
  • Spanish Translator and Dictionary
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Any medications and paperwork that goes along with them - prescriptions and original bottles
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • Warm clothes for the evening - Feliciano's has no heat and it will get down to about 40 - jacket for evenings in community
  • 3 pairs of work pants
  • 1 pair of comfortable pants for the evenings and flight home
  • T-shirts are fine to wear in the community - no tank tops - University of Minnesota T-shirts are nice for pictures
  • Long way home wishlist - make sure you ask what to bring them
  • work boots or 2 pairs of old sneakers to alternate - rubber boots if you're working in a stream
  • one pair of house shoes
  • rain coat
  • full backpack for lunch, water, jacket, sunscreen, first aid
  • bugspray
  • notepad and pen - pencil for wet places
  • calculator
  • computer or something like that - Feliciano has wifi
  • headlamp or flashlight
  • utility tool or swiss army knife
  • batteries for anything you need them for - GPS, walkie-talkies
  • camera and chargers - get permission to take pictures of things and people
  • only international cell phones work - wifi still works otherwise
  • Socks
  • pajamas
  • "safety foods" - trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter, chocolate

Helpful Spanish Phrases

Contractor Phrases

Emergency Phrases

Emergency Phrases II