If you are reading this blog chances are you already know me; for those of you needing some more info, my name is Ben Berwick and I am a graduate student at the University of Delaware studying structural engineering. I have been involved with an Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project for the past several months. The project entails building a reinforced concrete bridge over the Rio Vibora in San Marcos, Guatemala. The bridge will connect the village of San Jose Petacalapa with the bordering farmland via a dirt and stone road. As of right now the villagers cannot easily access their crops during the rainy season as the river becomes quite deep. The bridge will be about 60 feet long and 10 feet wide when completed (or at least I hope so).
Now that you have a little bit of information about the bridge, this is my last day in the states as I will be leaving at 6:00 am tomorrow morning to embark on this monumental journey!!!! I am hoping to keep all of you informed by using this blog, if I remember to do so.....
The project is scheduled to be four weeks in duration (Jan 1-Jan 29). A team of 7 members are already down there and have been since last Sunday. They have been confronted with many obstacles and trials, as is expected when starting any construction project of this magnitude, but add the fact that this bridge is in a third world country with limited materials, tools, and well everything I guess. We have had money issues, lack of materials, equipment problems, and soil issues for one of the foundations. Anyway, I'm proud to say that they have been able to handle the situation quite well and keep the project rolling. I'm grateful for such an awesome team of talented young engineers and professionals!!!
This project is going to take a lot patience, will power, creativity, and prayers to be finished succesfully and in the short amount of time that we have!! I appreciate all of the support you have given thus far, as we need all of the help we can get. Thanks, and I will post again sometime in the near future!!!
Feel free to pass the link for this blog to anyone you think might be interested. You can also take a look a the official blog for this trip at http://guatemala-ewb-udel.