The IIT Engineers Without Borders Student Chapter will send a team of students and professionals to the community of San Claudio, Nicaragua on Saturday, March 16, to perform a site assessment of the location for a proposed bridge, marking EWB-IIT’s first travel experience since its Summer 2011 trip to Haiti.
EWB-IIT began work on the bridge project in October 2012. The community of San Claudio is located in the Nicaraguan state of Leon, in the Western portion of the country, with a population of approximately 3,000 people. During the Nicaragua rainy season, flooding restricts access to the nearest school, health center, marketplace, and church.Because of this, the community has expressed the need for a footbridge. EWB-IIT’s goal is to facilitate the design and construction of this bridge, with a focus on community involvement and the long-term sustainability of the bridge.
The San Claudio project team, which is made up of approximately 25 IIT students of various backgrounds, is split into four sub-teams: Fundraising & PR, Culture & Education, Technical, and Health & Safety. Meetings are held every other week for the project team as a whole, and sub-teams meet as often as their work requires. The sub-teams have succeeded in developing a comprehensive work plan for the trip, as well as fundraising the cost of the plane tickets and other assorted travel expenses.
The Nicaragua travel team consists of students Cara Cummings, Sara Glade, Tristan Larson, and Lisa Stump, as well as IIT Student Access and Diversity staff member Megan Mozina, along with professional engineers Christine Freisinger and James Lewan. The primary goals of the trip are to gather technical data about the project site and to establish a healthy relationship with the community. Tasks to be completed include mapping the town’s roads and important sites using a GPS device, creating a topographic map of the project site using engineering surveying equipment, assessing the health of the community members, and meeting with community leaders and an in-country engineer. After the completion of the trip, the EWB-IIT team will move forward with the interpretation of the data collected while in Nicaragua, and begin the structural design of the bridge.
If you would like to get involved with EWB-USA, IIT, visit their website at www.ewbusaiit.moonfruit.com or send them an email at [email protected]