With the help of local residents and seven volunteers from the US and Canada, we managed to build 15 catenary arch kilns in 17 days in the village of San Juan de Oriente and the three final (and larger) kilns were in progress. These kilns primarily went to those who do not own their own kilns and are renting kiln space from relatives or neighbors.
Here’s a video that Meghan, one of our volunteers, made. If only we could really work this quickly!
We finished fifteen small kilns by the deadline of April 15 and we had a good start on three large kilns but on April 18 protests in many Nicaraguan cities halted our progress. The political situation has calmed down enough for us to be able to complete the final kilns.
Here are some shots of the big kilns with most of the brickwork done. Then we had to do a ton of ironwork.
Thanks to everyone who supported us in person or in spirit. These kilns will make a big difference to the San Juan de Oriente potters. Also thanks to FASOC (The Support Fund for Civil Society in Nicaragua) and APRODIN (Association of Promoters and Defenders of the Indigenous Rights of Nicaragua) who worked with us on the project.