Carrera is a small rural community in the northern highland region of Ecuador in the state of Pichincha. Located near the volcano of Cayambe (named after the municipality in which it resides), the community has a population of around 2000 people all of whom speak Spanish and/or Kichwa, the indigenous language of the area. EWB-OSU is currently working with community members and leaders on a project to support the construction of two additional classrooms at the local school either as a second story on top of an existing school building or as a completely new structure. The school does not presently have an adequate number of classrooms to serve its student population so children of different grade levels must share a single classroom. The community wants to solve this issue to promote and improve educational capacity and quality for its students.
The project was adopted in the spring of 2021 and work on it began that fall. In July 2022, a team of six student chapter members and a mentor traveled to the community to determine the feasibility of moving forward with the project and for preliminary data collection. The assessment trip consisted of technical testing of the site and of one of the existing structures on top of which a second floor was proposed to be added, conducting community member surveys and gathering feedback, and establishing relationships with stakeholders. After evaluating all of the information, the team decided that the chapter could continue with the projects and move on to the next steps.
Currently, student members are performing an alternative analysis between building the classrooms as either a second story or a separate structure as well as comparing various materials, resources, methods, etc for the structural design. The results of this analysis will be presented to the community for them to give input after which implementation can begin. Additionally, the EWB-OSU chapter is also working to create a site plan for the school to aid the community in making efficient use of the campus space and prepare for future project work. We are excited to continue developing our relationship with community members in Carrera and support the design and construction of a safe, learning space for the school children.