Thursday, June 5, 2008

Found a New Village with a Perfect River: Danta Uno

Monday we visited a new village a little bit farther down the paved road east of La Ceiba. Turning off the pavement, it's only a five minute drive on the rough roads to a village called Danta Uno. This is to distinguish it from Danta Dos and Danta Tres which are a little bit further down the road. I asked my Honduran guides what "danta" was, and they said it was some kind of animal, but they didn't know the name in English. I used a translation website today and found out that "danta" means "moose" of all things! I definitely did not see any moose there, though when I return I will keep my eyes open.

They have a small town of 27 homes, and 153 people including children. The homes are conveniently arranged along the road and not too far from each other. This makes running electrical lines easier. There is a small river that runs through town, cascading down large boulders and forming natural swimming holes that the children use to cool off.

Going a little farther upstream, we found that a small dam has been built for the purpose of collecting drinking water for the village. It is close to the road and there is plenty of head (the vertical drop required for the small hydroturbine). I estimate the flow to be about 100 liters/second, but it may be less. We need 63 after spillage. Of all the villages and rivers I have seen, this one has the most promise. So I asked if we could have a town meeting on Tuesday, and they agreed. I used a translator to help explain the vision I had for the project, and Humberto spoke on my behalf as a character reference to dispel their doubts about this gringo conspicuoso that wandered into their moose sanctuary. I think it went pretty well. We told them we would be back in July to take the next steps...

(note that at the time I shot this video, I thought the name of the village was "dante" not "danta", so I am pronouncing it incorrectly as I narrate)

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