University Immersion Program

Posted on: December 23, 2016

The University Community Immersion Program provides an opportunity for qualified students with an interest in international or cultural studies to live and work in a rural, Latin American community for a period of four weeks to six months. The program is operated through a partnership between EIA, the participating university, and the community.

While in the community, the students perform work in support of EIA’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. Students receive credit from their participating institutions while participating in the intercultural program. The program objectives are intended to benefit the community, the students, and EIA.

Community benefits include cultural and technical interactions with students from the global north that can enhance the quality and sustainability of development programs being implemented in the community. Student benefits include developing a better understanding of rural, Latin American cultures; of the challenges of implementing effective WASH programs in remote and impoverished regions; and of the factors that impact the sustainability of development programs.

EIA benefits include gathering of important community baseline data that can enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of our ongoing WASH programs that will help to improve the community’s health and well-being.

Volunteer Interest Form

Comuna Guangaje

Posted on: December 23, 2016

Comuna Guangaje women

Community: Comuna Guangaje, Ecuador
Coordinates:  0.51.42 S 78.50.7 W
Project Stage: Assessment
Population Benefited: 860 people

In the picture above, local women attend a community meeting to discuss this project in their home town, Comuna Gangaje. The women shared that they travel long distances to bring back water, which is often not sanitary, to their homes so that they can care for their families and livestock. An organization previously installed a short-term water system, but did not provide the training to local residents to ensure the system remained in working order. Engineers in Action plans to bring a long-term solution to the families in Comuna Guangaje, providing them with the skills they need to grow their local capacity and ensuring the 860 people in the rural town can easily access clean, sanitary water. The Indianapolis chapter of EWB professionals recently joined the project. Read more about the new partnership here.

Click here to read the full Comuna Guangaje application.

Available Projects Interest Form

Interested in partnering with Engineers in Action to take on a project? Fill out this form and we'll be in touch shortly.
  • What type of projects interest you? Have you worked with us or another organization on similar projects before? Why are you interested in working with EIA?


Chua Cocani

Posted on: December 23, 2016

Community: Chua Cocani, Bolivia
Coordinates:  16°11’33.19″S  68°44’33.42″W
Project Stage: Partners Needed
Population Benefited: 900+ People

Engineers in Action has two available projects in the community of Chua Cocani, a rural town just out side of La Paz near Lake Titicaca.

Over 900 people reside in the community without any access to sanitation services such as solid waste management, resulting in contamination of the nearby lake and streams, and posing a risk to public health. A team is needed to travel to Chua Cocani and gather data to support a sanitation services plan for the community, starting with solid waste management. The potential for this project is vast, so an ideal partnership would be with a team dedicated to spending at least 1 month in the community. This project would be ideal for potential University Immersion Program partners. Click here to see the Chua Cocani partnership outline.

During a previous visit to discuss the sanitation issues, EIA staff noticed unsafe play equipment near the local school. According to local leaders, the population of nearly 200 children do not have a safe place to play and often find rope to tie to trees in an attempt to simulate a swing. Research shows that play is of the utmost importance to the cognitive development of children and therefore is a huge priority to support EIA’s overall mission: increase the capacity of local individuals and families so that they may live prosperous, healthy lives. To that end, EIA is seeking a team of volunteers to travel to Chua Cocani to install a repurposed playground sourced from Rockford, Illinois. Click here to learn more about EIA’s Playground Projects.