Nicole Businelli, 2013, Chemical Engineering

In August 2010, an Engineers Without Borders (EWB) team of five Princeton students traveled to Huamanzaña, a small farming village nestled in the foothills of northern Peru, to perform maintenance work on previously established projects and build community ownership and empowerment. The team has had a working relationship with this town since 2005, and after implementing projects ranging from bathrooms and smokeless stoves to solar electricity and water distribution, the group focused this year on securing the long-term sustainability of these endeavors by developing responsibility within the town and helping community members take ownership of the projects themselves. With this goal in mind, the team initiated the formation of a water committee to oversee maintenance of the water system, taught lessons on the importance of bacteria and hygiene to schoolchildren, and helped repair various aspects of the old projects, from replacing stove chimneys to installing new water piping. Because this trip also represented the last year of EWB’s presence in Huamanzaña, the team visited several other sites around the La Libertad region in search of future potential projects.