Completed June 2009
Before the devastation of the earthquake, only a small number of families lived in the tiny desert community of El Molino. But the destruction caused by the earthquake forced people from the city of Pisco to essentially become refugees. Families were forced to stay in the sub-par living conditions in El Molino for several reasons, with the underlying theme that their old residence had been destroyed. Whether families were only renting their home and therefore could not build a new house, or were squeezed out because the extended family was only able to construct a new, much smaller home due to lack of funds, many people were left displaced. Aside from the overcrowding, El Molino was lacking in basic sanitation. The entire community lived without sanitary bathrooms, and used buckets that they would empty into the streets.
Pisco Sin Fronteras saw this opportunity and raised money to take action. We wanted to address two main concerns: lack of readily available healthcare and lack of activities and supervision for the community’s children. There was not a medical facility of any kind before PSF came in to help; we constructed a clinic in El Molino so that they would not have to travel impossible distances to obtain medicines and medical advice. We are hoping to get the cheaper, competent Cuban doctors to man the clinic at least once a week, but this is still in progress. Additionally, we wanted the children of El Molino to have something to do, somewhere to go, where they could be motivated to learn and stay out of trouble. PSF constructed the El Molino child care centre so that parents could leave their children in good hands, preventing the children from staying home or wandering around alone all day. We staff the child care centre by donations, and daily send in our volunteers to assist the local woman who looks after the children. The final basic need that we addressed was the construction of sanitary community toilets. We raised additional funds to build bathrooms so that the residents of El Molino would no longer have to throw their unsanitary waste into the streets. El Molino is still a grim place to live; it is only a small community, with no commerce leading to scarce employment opportunities. Some of the men are lucky enough to work at the nearby fish market, but it remains a community that is deserving of and benefiting from the help of PSF.