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Our Program
2019
2018
2017
2016
Mojocoya
Bolivia
Bridge Span (feet)
Team Members
Working Days
Lives Improved

Located in the Chuquisaca Department in the south of Bolivia, the community of Mojocoya consists primarily of farmers of corn, potatoes and wheat. Most residents rely on safe access to markets to support their families. However, for more than 200 days a year during the rainy season, these residents, including more than 100 school-aged children, face the difficult decision of whether or not they should attempt to cross the Rio Lajas to reach critical resources. In addition to markets, they must also cross the river to reach the local school, health services, the local municipality as well as local sporting and cultural events.

While many families make the decision to forgo medical attention or keep children home from school when the river is dangerous to cross, attempts to cross the flooded river have caused many serious injuries during the past two years. The new footbridge that the team constructed will provide safe and consistent access to essential community resources.

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The Region
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Located in the Chuquisaca Department in the south of Bolivia, the community of Mojocoya consists primarily of farmers of corn, potatoes and wheat. Most residents rely on safe access to markets to support their families. However, for more than 200 days a year during the rainy season, these residents, including more than 100 school-aged children, face the difficult decision of whether or not they should attempt to cross the Rio Lajas to reach critical resources. In addition to markets, they must also cross the river to reach the local school, health services, the local municipality as well as local sporting and cultural events.

While many families make the decision to forgo medical attention or keep children home from school when the river is dangerous to cross, attempts to cross the flooded river have caused many serious injuries during the past two years. The new footbridge that the team constructed will provide safe and consistent access to essential community resources.

Michael Baker Bridges to Prosperity Region Top Image
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The Project
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To help students get to school and allow residents to access markets and other vital resources year-round, our 10-person team, three Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) team members and the local community worked together to build a 246-foot suspension bridge over 10 working days.

The first day of construction presented a formidable challenge – pulling and setting four, one-ton bridge cables down a steep river cliff, through the river, and then back up another slope on the other side. This construction task required support from the local community, bilingual communication and a tremendous amount of coordinated hard labor. The Michael Baker team and the community came together in the end to accomplish the task and set a strong foundation for the rest of the build.

The team overcame the initial communication barrier to work as a cohesive unit to move hundreds of rocks, set the sag of the bridge cables, manually bend steel bars, paint and place the cross beams and decking, pour concrete approach slabs, and install protective fencing along both sides of the bridge.

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Our Impact
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To commemorate the opening of the bridge, the community of Mojocoya and residents from the neighboring communities gathered for an inauguration celebration. It was a surreal and incredibly rewarding moment for our team to witness the schoolchildren cross the bridge for the first time. Realizing the life-changing benefits that these communities will reap from this bridge made the nearly two weeks of hard work worth it.

Knowing that the community of Mojocoya had advocated for a safe and reliable crossing over the Rio Lajas for more than 10 years, we were so grateful to have been entrusted with delivering the bridge that will ensure safety and access to economic opportunity for more than 650 residents all year long.

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