Three villages in El Salvador will finally have access to a clean, plentiful water supply thanks to the efforts of two College administrators. Dorothy Filoramo, former VP for Institutional Advancement, and Ryan O’Gorman, Director of Retention and Student Success, are both members of the Rotary Club of Pearl River and were recently awarded a Rotary International grant of $27,000. That money coupled with the $58,000 they had previously raised will be used to construct a new well for the communities of Sol Naciente, Once, and San Francisco.
“The residents’ quality of life will improve with access to clean water for cooking, bathing, and washing their clothes,” said Filoramo. ”They have been relying on meager supplies and buying water. This will mean clean water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for three communities.”
O’Gorman added, “For us, we take clean water for granted because we turn on the faucet, there it is, and we drink it. Whereas for them, they are appreciative and want to assist us in bringing them clean water.”
Filoramo and O’Gorman established partnerships with Rotary Clubs in San Miguel, El Salvador and Pune, India, as well as with Dominican College and Molloy College to assist with the project. In addition, they have traveled to El Salvador several times to arrange for the purchase of land, for test drilling, and for a hydrological study. Filoramo and O’Gorman plan to return to El Salvador in January to be there for the beginning of the well construction project, which is expected to take two months to complete.
Each year, students and administrators from Dominican College and Malloy College travel to Sol Naciente to volunteer at a children’s day camp that is run by a Dominican Sister, Sr. Flor Buruca, of Amityville, NY, who grew up in El Salvador. It was during one of these service trips about four years ago that Filoramo and O’Gorman first discovered the need for clean water in the community and learned that the well used by residents was running dry.