Guatemala Program: La Vega de Volcan
La Vega del Volcan is a community located in the mountainous region of northwestern Guatemala. At an elevation of 4000 meter above sea level, this remote community exists without consistent access to food. Local food production makes up 65% of the community’s nutrition. In an effort to produce a high quality protein source for its community members, a trout farm was started in 2005. While environmental conditions for raising Rainbow trout in this high altitude community were ideal, fish farm yields were low hatching less than 2,000 eggs per year.
July 2012: Our chapter began a 5 year commitment to developing sustainable solutions to problems exiting within the community. During the 2012-2013 school year, our chapter worked with the community to improve aquaculture techniques. Together the fish farm’s incubation system was redesigned, water delivery to the farm was rerouted and the water source for the fish farm was secured.
September 2013: The implementation of adapted aquaculture designs and techniques occurred. In the subsequent spawning season, the community was able to successfully hatch 25,000 eggs.
January 2014: A second project was conceived by members of the community. In this community of 750 people, where 350 are children, no formal play/gathering space exists. Our chapter is currently working with the community to construct a community gathering space that will serve as sports field for the children of the community and a market space allowing for regional vendors to gather for farmers markets. Altogether, this multiuse structure has been designed to the community’s specifications to serve as cultural epicenter.
January 2015: Representatives of our chapter traveled to La Vega del Volcan and completed phase one of the community center project. A concrete foundation was laid allowing its use as play field. In September of 2015, phase two began with the successful construction of 12 reinforced concrete columns. These columns are intended to support a steel roof structure to be constructed in autumn of 2016.
September 2015: A group of UW students and two professional mentors spent several weeks working side by side with volunteers from La Vega to begin construction of the community center. Efforts were focused around the pouring of 12 concrete pedestals. In addition, several retaining walls and the beginnings of a new storm drainage system were installed.
January 2016: Five chapter representatives, along with community volunteers, regraded the hillside running along the community center and constructed concrete bleachers. The students collaborated closely with skilled laborers from the region to allow the community to take a larger role in overseeing the completion of the bleachers and other secondary elements of the community center construction.
Want to get involved? Contact Translator Daniel Hernandez (email@example.com) or Technical Lead Brandon McNerney (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!