CSG Journal

 October 19, 2012
Cool Kids

 A while back the local day care/orphanage in the small town of Taraira, Colombia asked if there was anything Cosigo could do to help give the children some respite from the sweltering heat during the worst hours of the day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The day care is a fairly small structure with a concrete floor, which was built with municipal funds, in the middle of town in the jungle near our Machado project. Although it is an open structure (no glass panes in the windows) the building gets very warm when days are sunny.

The day care ladies who work in the facility told us that, because of the heat, they themselves were by now as uncomfortable, and as 'cranky' as the children (ranging in ages from toddlers to about 4 years old). The day care sports only a few hammocks and only two day care ladies. The normal method of providing the children with a bit of a breeze, swinging them in the hammocks, only worked for two kids at a time. The rest of the kids would lie down directly on the floor hoping to be able to nap on the slightly cooler concrete.



The children napping on the concrete floor.


Normally, something like this would be very easy to fix by just turning a fan on. However, in Taraira, municipal power is only turned on during a few hours every night, usually between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Clearly, a private power source was needed.


Cosigo's Moiso and Juan Carlos assembling an oscillating fan.


As our Forestry Reserve Subtraction approval is still in process we were unable to consider any permanent and elaborate solutions to the problem. However, none of us wanted to leave the kids suffering in the heat (and it's hardly the children's fault that these processes take a long time).


Andy and Pat showing day care ladies how to use the "machine".


Wanting to act as fast as possible, we decided on a temporary solution to the heat problem. Both in Bogota and at Machado camp we have been servicing and starting up all of our engines, generators, compressors, etc. such that all equipment is ready for whichever of our projects gets approvals first. We decided to free up one of our smaller generators for the day care. We brought the generator, an oscillating fan, and an extension cord to the day care where they now have this equipment on loan from us.

A bit wary of the "machine" at first, the day care ladies were put through a crash course and quickly learned how to use the generator. Everyone looked happy as we plugged in the fan for the first time. The children can now actually get some sleep during their mid-day naps. It seems they are fans of the fan!



Cosigo team at the day care in Taraira (note fan and fans of the fan in back).