Our students recently had the chance to visit the source of San Luis’s water. UGA Costa Rica Business Manager Virgilio Brenes led us on a trek to a mountain spring where it all begins. Even though the path to the spring is less than a mile long, it feels much longer, with treacherous slopes of slippery rocks and ankle-deep mud.
Before starting down the trail, Virgilio held up a rock to remind us that all the materials to build infrastructure for the spring had to be carried there. Like many projects here, the community built it themselves. As difficult as some parts of the trail were to walk, someone did it carrying heavy bags of concrete. One local man made up to 20 trips a day carrying 100 lbs of concrete each time.
In fact, there was no trail to the springs when the project began. Workers had to repel down the rocks to the spring before starting to cut a trail to an accessible place in the road.
From the spring, the water travels down to lower San Luis, passing through water stations along the way that control the speed and pressure of the water.