Hydroponic Projects (and submersible pumps)

I had the unexpected treat of spending the weekend with Gaspar Chablé, a pastor, rancher and friend from Oaxaca. The gospel of Jesus is Gaspar’s passion, and he is constantly looking for ways to help people fight both spiritual and material poverty. His understanding of agriculture as it relates to life in rural Oaxaca is amazing. We spent quite a bit of time on Saturday night talking about Gaspar’s current project… hydroponic structures for the production of all sorts of plants in areas suffering from a scarcity of water (which is much of Oaxaca, really much of Mexico). Adventures in Life Ministry is also excited about this outreach.

Basically plants are produced using a fraction of the water normally required for traditional farming because water is constantly recycled, and is not lost into thirsty soil. All manner of crops can be produced this way. Many families do have electricity in their homes to power the small pump that circulates the water. For those who don’t, Gaspar has access to small solar panels with sufficient output to power a small pump during daylight hours. Here are some pictures of the project.

oaxa oaxa2

The Achilles heel of Gaspar’s plan is the lack of availability of both electric and solar pumps that are submerged in the water tank and circulate the water up and through the PVC. He’s tried to find them in Sam’s Club, in Home Mart, in local stores…they just don’t exist. Why? Because these simple pumps are primarily used in decorative fountains found in someone’s front yard; a cultural idiosyncrasy that simply doesn’t exist in Mexico.

Ah…but they exist on Ebay!  These simple pumps pictured below (one solar, one electric) can be purchased for under $20. And just as convenient…they easily fit in a suitcase!

solar pumpfou pump

So yes, you guessed it! If you plan to visit in the near future, you’ll be bringing down one (or 100) of the following articles:

  1. Simple hearing aid devices
  2. Audio Bibles Galcom/Messenger units (we are distributing 100 purchased recently)
  3. A solar or electric submersible pump (at least 100 total)
  4. A box of Cheez-its
  5. A jar of Marshmallow Cream

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