APR 5, 2012: In October of 1998, Hurricane Mitch wreaked destruction across Central America. With limited resources, many of the countries hardest hit are still struggling to make critical infrastructure repairs. Last summer, CMT’s Allen Oertel traveled to Honduras along with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and students from Southern Illinois University to help one community restore a much-needed road.
Hurricane Mitch wiped out hundreds of roadways across Honduras, including one that cut through the community of Pimienta. EWB took on the project of constructing the Punte La Nana Bridge Culvert so the roadway could be restored. Oertel served as task leader for the excavation, compaction and roadway fill portions of the project. The new culvert is designed to handle the flow from a 500-year flood, a critical improvement in an area frequently hit by strong storms.
After 13 years, the people of Pimienta finally have a vital part of their infrastructure back. For those who volunteered their time for eight days last summer, they have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve improved the quality of life for a community that needed a helping hand.
“ I cannot tell you how unbelievably proud I am of everyone who worked on the project, and I just want to say thank you to CMT for helping support this project,” Oertel said.
For more information on the Punte La Nana Bridge Culvert Project, see this recently released, short documentary prepared by one of the students who served on the project team. Link to documentary