While the student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (SIUE) and their structural engineer mentor Roy Wall work diligently on the design of the holding tank for the water distribution system in Virginia, Guatemala another student chapter has joined the MSPP team in Guatemala.
In January 2015, a small group of engineering students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) travelled with MSPP to Guatemala. The purpose of the trip was to meet with the community of Las Mojarras to discuss the possibility of the group helping with the expansion of an existing water supply system. The community of La Mojarras was settled in 1981 with approximately 25 families. In 1996, an organization came in to help bring water to the 25 families. Today, that community has grown to over 550 people residing in 150 homes. The initial water systems are no longer effective for the community. Las Mojarras is about 14 miles from the community of Virginia. With this community being in close proximity to the community of Virginia, it will be easy for MSPP to expand to Las Mojarras and still oversee projects in both communities. It also allows for both university groups to share resources and gather information for each other.
In February, MSPP and the student chapter received approval for collaboration from EWB national. The SIUC students immediately began working on raising funds for travel. They hope to make their first EWB assessment soon.