In early 2020, Casa Congo hosted researcher Damiano Duci who conducted an in depth analysis on the town's water quality, which provided valuable insights to the community on the level of substances in wells, in the river and in the ocean.
Casa Congo will now commence educational activities with the local community as well as a combination of household improvements + agro-forestry projects to gradually improve the situation.
The full report can be found here
Hear more about his experience from Damiano's testimonial below:
"It has been a one in a lifetime experience, I never had the chance to travel to central America before, and in the time in Casa Congo I really entered into the community of El Astillero. Also, I was in close contact with all colleagues that live and work in the village and after the first weeks I met their families and some friends, which added up to half of the village already. Also, during my research I had to enter people’s private property and ask to measure their wells’ water, in that situation I experienced how Casa Congo has positively impacted the community. For instance, as long as I was a Casa Congo representative everybody trusted me fully to the point that I could just enter their property and measure the water of their wells without a question. It was beautiful to see how people in El Astillero take care of each other and help those in need as a community.
One of the highlight of this experience was definitely witnessing the olive leatherback turtle adult laying eggs in the night and liberating the little turtles shortly after hatching, during a beautiful twilight sky contrasting with the white sand of the beach in the natural reserve of Chacocente.
I am so grateful to Casa Congo and all the people that I have met, worked together and shared experiences with in this time. It was so precious to me getting to know an indigenous community and to befriend all people in Casa Congo. Through water quality analysis, surfing, beach cleanup, turtles conservation, workshops and events I had the chance to share so many moment with members of the community. The closer my experience came to an end at the third month the more I felt part of a group of people working for the good of the planet and for a sustainable development of the community. I am also really proud of the capacity building we did together in order to allow Casa Congo to continue with the water quality monitoring in the years to come. At the end of this experience I was sad of leaving, it felt like leaving behind a newfound family, my Nicaraguan family"
- Damiano Duci