Synopsis of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) trip, Guatemala May 18 to May 29, 2012
This was a historic trip because it was the first implementation trip in Guatemala. There had been approximately four assessment trips prior to this and in March 2012 the EWB TAC committee approval was given to construct three shear walls to strengthen the east wall of the library. The plan was to have the foundations prepared beforehand so we could assist with wall building and tie the wall to the second floor of the library. When we arrived two very large excavations were completed with no concrete poured. It made sense to construct the two walls and abandon the idea of excavating a third hole, although the tile and concrete floor were disturbed to do so. Six thousand dollars had been sent previously and spent to obtain materials and an additional $2500 was to arrive by the Monday of our work week. In the end we could see the wisdom of Denver EWB’s Peter Waugh’s comment to figure out what you could do in one trip and then “cut it in half”. The trip was a success on almost all fronts and important lessons were learned.