Ben Tanko, a geotechnical engineer from our Bloomington office, recently traveled to Guatemala with a group of engineers from Minneapolis/St. Paul to help build a school in a rural community. Ben is a member of the Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). EWB is a nonprofit organization that partners with communities in developing countries to help design, fund, and construct projects they need. Common projects that many communities request include new schools, water distribution systems, sanitary systems or bridges.
Since March, Ben and the rest of the design team have been working on designing and funding a new school in the community of Aldea Patzac. The new school will have three classrooms, which adds additional room for younger children who cannot attend class, as well as a kitchen for preparing students’ meals. Located in the municipality of San Andrés Sajcabajá in the mountains of northwest Guatemala, construction broke ground in early November. Seven members of the design team traveled to the site to meet with the community leaders and help with the start of construction.
During the trip, the team helped with site layout, footing excavation, tying rebar cages, and pouring the concrete footings. Construction of the walls will continue over the next two months. A second team will travel to the project site to help with the completion of the roof. The trip was a great success and the team had a chance to meet the mayor to discuss the municipality’s need for future EWB projects in the area. For more details on the Aldea Patzac School Project, click here.
Check out some of the photos from Ben’s trip below, or visit the project’s virtual dashboard for even more project updates!