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

Mountains surround the small community of Pabellón in the southern portion of the Cochabamba region of Bolivia. The local community is made up largely of subsistence farmers who cultivate potatoes, onion, corn, wheat and tomatoes.

Without a safe connection, residents are cut off from reaching the nearest hospital, government services and schools when the Rio Pabellón becomes impassable. On average, families are cut off from the critical resources that they need for five months out of each year. When the crossing becomes significantly more dangerous during the extended rainy season, it is the root cause of death and injury each year.

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The Region
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Mountains surround the small community of Pabellón in the southern portion of the Cochabamba region of Bolivia. The local community is made up largely of subsistence farmers who cultivate potatoes, onion, corn, wheat and tomatoes.

Without a safe connection, residents are cut off from reaching the nearest hospital, government services and schools when the Rio Pabellón becomes impassable. On average, families are cut off from the critical resources that they need for five months out of each year. When the crossing becomes significantly more dangerous during the extended rainy season, it is the root cause of death and injury each year.

Michael Baker Bridges to Prosperity Region Top Image
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The Project
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For two weeks this summer, our team of 10 worked with B2P’s in-country staff and local community members to build a suspension footbridge to serve more than 200 local residents. The project was guided by a design provided by B2P that was tailored to the job site and the rugged terrain of the region. The team accomplished every aspect of bridge superstructure construction, from prepping the job-site to setting the main cables to installing the decking and fencing. Once the bridge decking and fencing were installed and debris was cleared from the job site, the project was considered complete.

In addition to dramatically improving mobility, the new bridge helps to greatly reduce the number of injuries that are caused each year as a result of residents attempting dangerous crossings through the flooded river.

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Our Impact
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For the opening ceremony, the bridge was decorated with vegetated arches, flower petals and colorful paper clippings. Local and regional leaders joined our team to deliver remarks recognizing the hard work and dedication of the community and the importance of the bridge. The community graciously presented our team with a Charango, a traditional 10-string miniature guitar made in the nearby town of Aiquile. We will forever treasure the beautiful piece of local art and culture that the community gifted us.

The bridge and opening ceremony served as a humbling reminder of how just one project can have a profound and immediate impact on people’s lives. The look of gratitude on the faces of the community members as they crossed their bridge for the first time was something we will never forget. Working alongside B2P and local community members, young and old, filled us with such pride and energy. The experience gave us a new perspective on how transportation infrastructure, something that we take for granted in the United States, can have such a positive impact by providing opportunities for people to grow and thrive in other parts of the world.

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