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ESF Students spent Spring Break working in Honduran village

Student members of Engineers Without Borders worked on clean water project

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SYRACUSE - The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is working to provide potable water for the residents of Buena Vista, Honduras.

The isolated village community of 300 people near the north coast of Honduras on the dry side of the Pico Bonito mountains currently uses water from surface sources contaminated with coliform because the residents have no means to transport clean water from farther away. Nor do they have enough money to construct a water system because the annual average income is about $800 in the region and is estimated to be even less in Buena Vista. As a result residents suffer chronic intestinal illnesses.

Missed flight connections and rough water delayed the five students arrival by three days but they made up for lost time. Working with a Peace Corps volunteer they met with village residents, assessed water resources, surveyed the route for the piping, and mapped out locations for tanks and water impoundment.

Their next step is to raise the $10,000 needed for materials. They hope to return in August to begin building the water system.

Students attending were:

ESF senior Mitchell Robinson (forest engineering) of Stafford, N.Y.

Master's student Mark Fabian (forest engineering) of Holderness, N. H.

Graduate Student Chellie Norris (forest and natural resources management) from Swan Lake, N.Y.

Katy Johnson, senior landscape architecture major from Munnsville, N.Y.

And, senior Gwen Macdonald (forest engineering) of Bryn Mawr, Pa.