The UIUC Bridges to Prosperity (UIUC B2P) is a student-run chapter under the international, non-profit organization, Bridges to Prosperity. We engage students in the design and construction of footbridges for rural communities in developing counties.
The Bajo Maiz Community Bridge Project is a 4-week bridge construction project, taking place in Panama and beginning on June 3rd and ending on July 2nd, 2017. The Bridges to Prosperity chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC B2P) is will be sending eight members to build a footbridge to provide a safe way to cross the river shown below.
About the Community
The community of Bajo Maiz is located outside San Felix in the Mirono district. Bajo Maiz is a small village, only containing 20-30 houses. However, the communities near Bajo Maiz, including Hato July, Hato Picun and Calabazac, will also use the footbridge.
About the Bridge
The total number of people that will be able to use the bridge is 745. This includes families that live in nearby communities. Approximately 200 children will be able to cross the river safely after the bridge is built. This river is difficult to cross during the months of July through November. As a result, several deaths have occurred, caused by the dangerous river.
(Photos of the Bajo Maiz Community’s river)
Our first bridge project was a Tag-along project with University of Toronto B2P team. We traveled in the summer of 2016 to help build a 34-meter cable suspended footbridge in Patzula, Joyabaj Municipality, Guatemala. The bridge supports 800 daily traffic, including 45 students, to safely cross the river.
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