About Us: The MSOE Student Chapter
Engineers Without Borders—MSOE Student Chapter works closely with the Ingenieros Sin Fronteras- Guatemala to find and execute projects that the community puts forth. This is a student-led organization that works throughout the school year to curate a design that is then reviewed by professional engineers. MSOE’s EWB is known to have a one-year turnaround for each project we do. We work closely with the communities in the municipalities of Joyabaj and Sololá, Guatemala where we currently have two active projects.
About the Project: 2023-2024 Churunel Central Water Distribution
As described above, this project is for the community of Churunel Central in the Municipality of Sololá. We will be designing a treated water system for the community to replace their current spring-fed system that is drying up due to climate change. There are about 560 people, a health clinic, and a schoolhouse that we will be bringing water to with this project. The few community members that are able to draw water from their current system are only able to for a few hours a day before the spring is out of water. The rest of the community either pays to have water trucked to their homes to fill their temporary storage tanks or the women and children are sent daily to fetch water from the river each day. The river is known to be contaminated as trash is dumped into it, human and animal feces make their way into the water and countless other contaminates that are known to make people sick and be harmful to the community as a whole. This project will have countless benefits to the community as children will be able to go to school, pregnant mothers won’t have to worry about unclean water, and nobody will be sick from bad water in their system ever again. As a chapter, our teams are planning to work with our mentors to design the project in the first semester, then in the second semester, we will work through the drafting, estimating, scheduling, and health and safety planning to be able to deliver the project to the community as quickly as possible.
This project is comparable in cost to our previous water project, El Manantial, as we are responsible for raising approximately $30,000 to support the project. The overall cost of the project is estimated to be close to $200,000 but through our friends at the Milwaukee Rotary chapter and the support of the local municipality the rest of the project cost will be covered. All of these funds will be put towards all the materials required for this project including the rebar for the tank, the cement used to build the tank, over 6 kilometers (or a little less than 4 miles) of PVC and metal pipe to supply the water, a well pump, and the meters used at every tap. Projects like this are never simple as a large amount of surveying must be done, the community has to donate land for the tank, private property must be cut through for the water lines, and so many other things that can make for a bumpy project but with the guidance from our mentors and the Ingenieros Sin Fronteras – Guatemala office, we will be able to bring safe, consistent water to this community with your support.
About Our Fundraising: Our Generous Donors
The total cost of the project is expected to be approximately $200,000. The Municipality of Sololá and the community of Churunel Central are responsible for the cost of digging and building the well that is to supply the project with water as well as supply laborers for the construction. Then EWB- MSOE partnered with Milwaukee Rotary Chapter for this project who have pledged to cover a majority of the remaining total. This leaves our organization responsible for $30,000, which will be fundraised for through various EWB-MSOE events including this crowdfunding campaign. Our donors have continued to support EWB-MSOE for their servant-based work which we greatly appreciate. Our mission is only possible through the students of MSOE, the various mentors who assist in the design, the members of the community we service, and all our generous donors.
Thank you for supporting our projects!
About our Experiences
Elise McMahon, Project Manager for Churunel Central-
“The reason I became an engineer is to improve people’s lives. Working on projects like Churunel Central is one of the best ways that I can do this. Myself and other chapter members are able to learn so much from the communities and people we help in the process. It’s a unique opportunity where we get to feel how rewarding it is to put our skills to practical use.”
Leona Useni, President-
“Travelling to Guatemala has been one of the most eye-opening experiences that I have ever had. Living in a different culture for a week and interacting with the Guatemalans, makes the projects we have been working on have so much more meaning. Not only have I left an impact there with the work I’ve done, but they have left an impact on how I live my life.”