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Albert Lopez & the PULP Initiative

I am a product of the American dream. My parents left their homeland in hopes of a better life, escaping the cruelty of a harsh civil war. However, they never forgot their home country and instilled values of humanitarianism in our household.

Growing up as a child, I thought I was strong willed. I was convinced that I was resilient and adaptive, almost to the point of feeling of invincible. It wasn’t until I had my limits pushed in the most remote regions of Guatemala that I found the true meaning of survival and self awareness. It was at that point that decided that I had to make a difference.

At age 15 I developed a strong love for film. The search for opportunities led me to help with music videos, thesis films, and a commercial for Netflix. I became confident with my skills and was ready to catch the big fish. In the spring of 2014, I left with a non-profit organization to film the struggles of indigenous people living in Guatemala. I left America with an open mind, but even that wasn’t enough to prepare me for my long and treacherous journey ahead. When I arrived, I was robotic. I had grown up living in the chaotic fast western system that desensitizes us to the humbleness and the rich social vibrancy that surrounds all Latin America. Immediately, my first thought was about my camera’s white balance – I looked into the settings like its ISO, shutter speed, and whether or not I should use a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens.

So what changed me? In retrospect – it started in bed. On the first night, I was introduced to my sleeping arrangement; A hay mattresses. The fact that there were bugs and spiders made it near impossible to sleep. After a long night of fidgeting and squirming, I’d eventually find myself getting some rest.

“Coffee is ready” was the announcement made at 3:00 AM. Instinctively my hand flew towards my camera. After having a light breakfast that consisted of some great coffee and fresh bread, we started our excursion. We travelled during the day, and at night, we’d take refuge in the homes of kind locals. For dinner we’d typically feast on meals that were provided by our hosts. We alleviated our lack of carbs and calories by drinking chicken broth and handmade tortillas.

Some memories from that trip will stay with me forever – I remember clinging onto the car’s handles while I watched the driver nervously maneuver over landslide debris. I thought to myself “is this it? Is this how I die? falling off a cliffside thousands of miles away from my home at age 16?” I remember staying indoors while gangs patrolled the streets. I remember the polluted water and the bad plumbing system that left a foul smell in the air. I can never forget seeing the poverty.

It wasn’t until I finally returned to the US that it truly hit me. I remember going into a Wal-Mart and walking through aisles and just staring at the abundant selections.

That same year I started PULP with the aim of helping those in need.

The average American using 80-100 gallons of water each day. Chances are there’s probably a bottle of water right next to you. As California struggles through its 100 year drought. Where’s the innovation? With recent breakthroughs like electric cars, virtual reality, and reusable rockets – isn’t it time we started thinking about the future of water?

Based in Los Angeles, PULP is setting out to break the glass ceiling. PULP aims to desalinate saltwater by distilling unsanitary water and condensing its pure vapor. Thus, resulting in environmentally friendly drinkable water. With recent breakthroughs in solar spherical aberration, PULP is setting its date of having its first water taste tasting later this year.

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I think the future of water is unsettling. Countries like Israel and Germany have invested heavily into their water supplies and have full transparency. It saddens me to see that the US falling behind, Where is the innovation?”

I believe action should be taken before the “water wars” start. PULP Consists of humanitarians and engineers. Our LA startup hopes to gain more funding and believes it can bring technology and activism together to create something new and once again exiting.

-Albert Lopez

 

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