Brae Burn Country Club
326 Fuller Street
Newton, MA
United States

Appropriate Technology for Public Health in Newton's Nicaraguan Sister City, San Juan del Sur

David Gullette will speak about the Sister City Water Purification Process, specifically the new model of a BioSand Filter to remove pathogens from well water, and the fabrication of all-clay cookstoves that use less wood than open fires and rid homes of toxic cooking smoke. Newton's Sister City Project was founded in 1989 and next year will celebrate 30 years of work with friends in the beautiful Pacific coast town on San Juan del Sur. You can read about its work at www.newtonsanjuan.org. Dozens of Newtonians--from Newton North and South high school students, to large delegations from the Union Church in Waban, to individual families--have gone down to work on service projects in San Juan del Sur. The two central foci are public health and education.


One of the two main projects in the past 15 years has been home-based water purification systems, using various models of the BioSand Filter, which uses a column of volcanic sand to rid well water of E. coli bacteria and parasite cysts. Rotary International has clean water as a major area of attention, and there is a newly-formed Rotary Club in San Juan del Sur, which opens doors to potential communication and collaboration.


Mr. Gullette has been Vice President of the Sister City Project until this year, when he was elected President following the death last October of the project's founder and President, Rodney Barker. He is a retired Professor of English from Simmons College, and spends six weeks at the start of every year in San Juan del Sur. He is also a Paul Harris Fellow, having worked closely for many years with the Rotary Club of Woodstock, VT and their Rotaract youth groups.