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This December 2017, the Guatemala team from the EWB-S&T chapter will return to Nahualate, Guatemala, to end a successful community partnership spanning ten years. In August of 2017, the team turned over the financial responsibility of the project to the Nahualate Water Committee. The project that was completed is a clean water distribution system which includes a 430 foot well, 15,000 gallon storage tank, chlorination system, and 8 miles of distribution pipe. The system is now servicing 500+ homes with clean, drinkable water every day. While in community, the team will inspect the system for proper maintenance and operation. This is the largest completed Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project to ever be completed by a student or professional chapter and was made possible by our team’s generous donors. Donors such as Boeing and the Salvador Foundation have ensured that Nahualate will have clean drinking water for the foreseeable future. Both the community of Nahualate and the Missouri S&T chapter are forever thankful for their support.
While in Guatemala, the team is hoping to start a new community partnership with Paraje Xecaxjoj. This community is in desperate need of a school. The team did a preliminary assessment in August 2017 to determine the community’s willingness and ability to support the project economically and socially. The new project will include a rainwater diversion system, gabion walls, and a school housing k-6th grade complete with a kitchen. Currently, the community has four separate single room buildings for classes; some grade levels share a single room due to a lack of space. Our team members, as well as the Paraje Xecaxjoj community members, are excited about working together on the project. During our December 2017 trip, the team will collect topographical survey data, soil strength and consistency data, and perform interviews with community members and community leaders. Using the data collected, our team will design a couple options. Using our alternatives analysis approach, the team will select the community’s best option and begin the construction process. Our goal is to begin implementation by August 2018. We are predicting the completion of the school project in two years.