Meet Community Partners - Rigoberto Alvarado
Meet Rigoberto Alvarado
Since EWB-UMaine started working with the community of Dulce Vivir in 2008, Rigoberto Alvarado has been right by our side. Rigoberto is the President of the Dulce Vivir Residents’ Association and has been a leader in that group since the community’s inception in 2005. He lives with his wife, Natividad (nicknamed Tiva), and two grandchildren, Luis and Roswel.
Rigoberto was instrumental in the completion of the newly implemented septic system. He has been the connection between EWB-UMaine and the community, local hardware stores and material suppliers. After finishing the project, he was asked how he feels about EWB-UMaine coming down to help his community. His response was that, “it is a great relief because we couldn’t have waited any longer with our latrine problem. We feel good about the project. All of the connections are set and everything is running excellently.”
One of the most important parts of implementing a system in a developing nation is that the community feels a sense of ownership and responsibility for the project. Along with this, it is crucial that the community’s dynamics don’t change for the worse. When Rigoberto was asked how he thinks the project will affect community dynamics, he responded by saying, “I don’t think it will affect us in any negative way. There will be a positive impact because the help that EWB-UMaine has given us raised our quality of living. Without the project, we would continue to live in inadequate and harmful sanitary conditions, having our latrines collapsing and being faced with hazards and disease every day.” Rigoberto was also asked how this project will change the lifestyles of the people in the community. Since the project was so recently completed, he said that this was hard to assess, but that, “it will lead us to a healthier future.”
BY DANIEL GERGES AND RUTH CASTILLO