4th Week: Trip to Colonel Oviedo ~Part 1~

Santo Domingo Investigation

Date: Tuesday (July 12th, July 13th, July 14th)

Greetings from Paraguay! This is Midori Fujitani.

This week, I visited another city in Paraguay called Colonel Oviedo. The purpose of the visit was to investigate the conditions of the road in Santo Domingo and the school in Mercedes district.

Summary of the trip

Santo Domingo is one of the communities that the foundation of Mitai Mitakunai has been working for. The areas of focus in this area include the improvement of an elementary school and the construction of the road that connects the community with other parts of Paraguay. During the investigation in Santo Domingo, I visited the school, observed the current condition of the road, and interviewed all of the families of the community. There are currently three principle concerns shared by all of the residents: school, road, and health.

 

School

There is one elementary school in the area. It accommodates students from pre-school through 6th grade. Most of the population study and finish elementary level of education at the school and proceed to secondary education, which they can pursue at another school, located one street away from Santo Domingo. The members of the community repeatedly expressed that education is very important and that the establishment of the school was a great success in the community. On the other hand, they shared some concerns in regards to the condition of the school. Two of the teachers from the school especially requested for more classrooms to create smaller classes and to teach how to use a computer.

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  • The teachers said that computer class is important because as students advance to higher grades, more materials will be taught through computers. For example, even if a student wanted to pursue his degree in Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, he would not be able to understand and have access to the materials as much as other students would because many of the information would be taught and available through computers.
  • The teachers also want more textbooks for students and some space to put water, snacks, and other foods. Currently the ministry of education of Paraguay provide milk and cereal, but not lunch.
  • The school would be closed if the rain was too hard, making the road almost impossible to be used
  • The lights in the school infirmary were broken.
  • There were many cracks on the wall

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Classroom

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Lights

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Wall

Road

Road is the heart of the community and connects it with other parts of the country. The absence of the road severely affects their lives. Despite of its importance, the condition of the road is not in the ideal condition. It becomes almost impossible to both walk and drive when it rains.

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Part of the Road

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Remained puddle after the rain

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Cracks on the road

  • The parts of the road that the foundation has implemented its project are still vulnerable to the rain. The fact that they are located at the bottom of the hills makes it more dangerous to use the road when it rains.
  • The majority of the population expressed that the construction of the functional and resistant road is necessary
  1. Children cannot go to school when it rains
  2. Products (mainly vegetables) cannot be delivered to markets when it rain
  3. The road is important from health and medical standpoints
  • Even when they are sick, they cannot have access to medicine or doctors if the road does not function
  • People emphasize the importance of the road. However, the majority of the people are unwilling to cooperate with our project because…
  1. The work itself requires labors and their time
  2. Many of the population in the community are old and physically incapable of working in the constructions

Health

Health is the third principle concern shared in the community. There is no doctor who lives in the village. The residents have to go to Colonel Oviedo or other larger cities nearby in order to consult doctors when they are sick. The unidealistic condition of the road, as previously mentioned, isolate the community and take away the access to medicine and doctors from the residents.

  • Many of the population expressed that there are some medical facilities available at the school. The problem is, however, that no qualified personnel lives in the community.
  • Some of the population requested for modern toilets and hot shower. They have to take cold shower even during the winter

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Toilet

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Shower