Posted by MAB on Nov 06, 2017
The Rotary clubs Woodside/PortolaValley, San Mateo Sunrise and Peninsula, working through the H2Opendoors organization installed a water purification system for a rural hospital in Nicaragua.  

In July of 2017, 13 people traveled with the H2OpenDoors project to Nicaragua. There were 3 Rotary clubs from District 5150 represented... Woodside/Portola Valley, San Mateo Sunrise and Peninsula Sunrise. The purpose of the expedition was to install a SunSpring-based water purification system at a rural hospital in the Atlantic coast town of Puerto Cabezas.

The Minister of Health for Nicaragua had invited H2OpenDoors after learning of other installations in countries like Haiti, Guatemala and Mexico. The hospital with the most dire need was chosen. A water analysis was ordered, showing total coliform counts at 990 and eColi at 555. A chlorination system had been installed years ago, but had been broken down and abandoned for the past 4 years.

The SunSpring system was installed in about 6 hours, and output was piped to the operating room, the kitchen, and 20 various water points in 5-gallon dispensers. The team also provided a solar pump and solar panel array to move raw water from the well and cistern to elevated tanks.

H2OpenDoors has as it's core mission to provide sustainable solutions, with close follow up. Periodic trips each year are conducted by the H2OpenDoors key Rotarian members, as well as technicians from the factory.

The Minister oversees 400 hospitals in Nicaragua, the second poorest nation in the region, next to Haiti. Their infrastructure is crumbling. Technology like the SunSpring provides a robust, membrane-centric solution to water challenges with a life span of decades. The H2OpenDoors project of Rotary ensures successful onboarding and continual communication and service. The project will be lining up multiple hospitals for this process, as guided by the Health Ministry.

The Nicaragua project was funded from the project's Donor Advised Fund at The Rotary Foundation. Innovative methods for gaining contributions include social media, events and outreach. After 20 installations, only one project was part of a Global Grant. 

Upcoming installations through Spring 2018 include Tanzania, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Rotarians are always invited to join these expeditions. For more information, go to or