FoodMachine Guatemala Installation

Published: 22 April 2013

We just got back from an incredible trip to Guatemala installing our first FoodMachine in the country. It was a privilege to be able to work with some amazing people there. The FoodMachine is located in a village called Zapote, about an hour drive from the beautiful city of Antigua. The FoodMachine is located at the house of the local pastor. There is a partnership developed with the local school so kids will be working at the FoodMachine each day; monitoring water quality, feeding fish, planting seeds, and harvesting the plants. We are excited as this is a great opportunity for the kids to learn what goes into maintaining a system. We also are very excited about the partnership between the Pastor, the principal of the school, and the teacher who’s kids will be taking part in the project. We believe there is a TON of potential!

Below are some photos that show the progression from the initial construction through the finished system.

Initial construction. This was all done before we arrived onsite.

The first thing we did when we arrived was to get the seeds planted. This ensured we had plants starts ready to go into the system before we left.

A bit more sand had to be added to the bottom of the beds to ensure that rocks didn’t put holes into the bottom of the liner. PVC liner was used since it will not leach any toxins into the system. Additionally, this will prevent leaks from happening should the walls of the growbeds develop any cracks.

Putting the liner into the growbeds.

Finishing up the drain plumbing.

Due to the low water pressure from the well, water had to be brought from the river to initially fill the system. Ironically, the water from the river tested as being cleaner than the well water. Thankfully, both should be fine for the fish.

Here we are training on water quality and system design. Also, the guys are proud to show off the holes drilled in the raft.

The fish must be protected from direct sunlight as well as from predators so a roof structure had to be built. These guys were good!

Getting fish into the system is always one of the most exciting parts of setting up a system. Thankfully, getting the fish and putting them into the system went off nearly without a hitch.

Due to security concerns we had to build a small house to put the air pump in. Unfortunately, there are those who would steal a simple pump in the hopes of making money by selling it.

Fish tank

Here is the teacher who will be leading the students maintaing the system. She is learning how to put the plants into the system.

Looking great!!!