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El Salvador 2008: Day 5 – Back to Izalco

This morning was another 7am start to reach San Marcos in Izalco by 8:30am.

Today we start building the road on the surface we graded yesterday. The general process is to first lay down a foundation of rock, then cover the rock with cement. The rock was delivered by truck to the work site, but we needed to move the rock from the pile to the road, and then place the rocks to follow the plum lines. One efficient way to move the rocks is to use the “chain gang”…

…although Tom and others also moved rocks by wheelbarrow.

The cement is mixed on the ground using shovels. Three wheelbarrows of sand, one bag of cement mix, and six buckets of water are mixed in a multi-step process that takes about fifteen minutes to insure the three ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

The mixed cement is moved to where it is needed by wheelbarrow. Cement is put down in two steps. First, cement is poured to cover the rocks, and trowels used to make sure cement goes between the rocks. This is left to dry for a few hours, and a second layer cement put down to form the top of the road. Our team concentrated on the first layer, while the Salvadorian engineer supervising the project, named Salvador, made sure the second layer was straight and level.

We had help from the community as well – below are pictures of two helpers, Jennifer and Ricardo.

Tomorrow we will be returning to Izocal.

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