Pwoje Espwa


Today is the day I was really looking forward to. Pwoje Espwa is the agricultural teaching orphanage in Les Cayes and the place where our septic system design will be implemented as well as our biodigesters.

Once entering the grounds there is a long dirt road that leads to the orphanage.

A house along the road before entering Pwoje Espwa

It is currently the 20th anniversary of the orphanage and there were banners hanging at the entrance.

Sanitation and housing domes newly built at Pwoje Espwa.

Cameron Parker is a director of Pwoje Espwa and since he isn’t in Haiti this week he connected us with his right-hand man, Ti Boss. Once we met with Ti Boss we went to go look at a current sanitary system they are building.

Large septic tank not fully built with three chambers. It rained the previous day so there is water in the system.

Then we headed over to the site where a new housing unit would be built in place of an existing one. This housing unit is not technically a part of the orphanage but is a part of Pwoje Espwa’s outreach program to the neighboring houses. As of right now this is the site where the next septic design will be implemented. We took field notes and measurements of the site.

Plot of land where the project will be implemented. The current house in the photo will be replaced with a bigger and better housing unit.

We began digging a hole at 11:05 AM in order to conduct a permeability test of the soil. We filled a hole that was 17 inches deep with about 9 inches of water. We came back at 12:05 PM and measured the height of the water to be about 8 inches. Therefore we saw a water level drop of 1in/hr.


Owen digging a hole for a permeability test.

Chris takes measurements for the permeability test

For the hour we were waiting for the water to infiltrate the soil we headed over to the pig farm where the biodigesters will be used.

This is the sides of the pig farm. There are holes along the bottom where the waste gets flushed through. This then runs off into a composting pile.

Waste drainage on the side of the pig farm at Pwoje Espwa.

The plan is to connect the pig farm drainage holes using pipes sloped to the biodigesters so that the waste gets drained right into the biodigester. There are about 40 pigs and there is plenty of waste accumulated to keep a biodigester running and producing methane.

After, we met some of the school kids. They were really nice and wanted to hold hands and take pictures. Nicole and I let them take our phones and take pictures of whatever they wanted. Here are some of those photos:

Inside a housing unit at Pwoje Espwa

Austin and his new buddy.

This is me and a student at Pwoje Espwa who seemed to take a special liking to me during my time there 🙂

Nicole and students at Pwoje Espwa

When all of our work was completed we headed back. The orphanage is absolutely gorgeous and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help them expand and grow.

The view at Pwoje Espwa.