Engineers in Action (EIA) recently announced the expansion of its programs to include new opportunities for non-technical volunteers to improve the lives of people living in impoverished communities in Bolivia and Ecuador. Summer 2017 volunteer trip opportunities can be found on their website at engineersinaction.org/volunteer-opportunities.
The organization was originally founded to accommodate partnerships between engineering organizations seeking international project opportunities and local communities in Latin America. EIA maintains offices in Ecuador and Bolivia staffed by local engineers and project managers, which allows the nonprofit to visit project sites regularly and maintain key relationships with community leaders.
“We’re the bridge between the US-based volunteers who want to give their time and expertise and the rural communities who desperately need assistance to gain access to things we take for granted like clean water and proper sanitation systems,” said Rod Beadle, Executive Director of EIA.
The expanded volunteer programs will allow the organization to invite a broader range of globally-minded supporters to join the organization on travel teams.
“Expanding volunteer opportunities will give our teams broader perspective and help to improve the impact and sustainability of our programs,” Beadle said. “Volunteers with engineering backgrounds are still important, but we also need people to help teach community members how to maintain and repair systems as well as people to help install them. It doesn’t take an engineer to be able to swing a hammer or teach a hygiene class.”
The organization’s change is two-fold, with an additional focus on the volunteer team members.
“We also feel an obligation to our volunteers,” Beadle said. “It’s a life-changing experience to visit these remote villages and see a way of life that is so different from ours in such a beautiful setting. We wanted to offer that opportunity to all our supporters – church members, Rotarians, students, and other friends. We are ready to invite anyone and everyone to join us on this incredible journey. While you’re working to change someone’s life for the better with clean water, they’re changing your life in ways you won’t even understand until you arrive back home. We have to share that with as many people as possible.”