140 people in the Tablas Monte community are anticipating the construction of the pedestrian bridge over the Gonchu Mayu River to unite them with the larger Colomi area. In June, the University of Toronto will be sending a travel team of ten students to Bolivia, to work with the community in bridge construction. The projected completion date is August 2, 2018. Funds raised from this campaign will go directly towards total bridge project costs, including materials, transportation, labor, and of course, getting our travel team to South America! This project would not be possible without your generosity; thank you for joining our effort in bridging the gap of isolation over Gonchu Mayu!
Tablas Monte, a community in boliva is made up of local farmers who annually harvest crops made up of pumpkins, potatoes, peppers, lettuce, peanuts, avocado, bananas and tomatoes. Farmers have very little mobility outside of their community during the rainy season, which makes up half the year, as the high water lines restricts safe passage across the Gonchu Mayu river. The income from the agricultural sector provides makes up most of the economic activity for this community,. Without regular access, farmers lose a portion of this income and their crops spoil; their effort to growing these crops unfortunately goes to waste. In addition, the neighboring communities of Pinon Pampa and 10 de Octubre will also benefit from this project.
In the last three years alone, five people have been injured and five have died attempting to cross the river, which separates their community to the marketplace, to gain access to services we would take for granted. Some have no choice but to wait for hours for life threatening medical treatment. For others, simply getting to school to receive education becomes a daunting task. The unpredictable nature of the river and unreliable alternate routes to attend school prevent students from benefiting from the routine that school provides.
After consulting with the Leader of Tablas Monte, the Civic Committee of Tablas Monte, and the Councilman of the Area, together we decided that the Gonchu Mayu Pedestrian Bridge can solve this problem. Our team is currently in the process of bridge design, pending approval from Bridges to Prosperity engineers. We are also in the midst of fundraising for the bridge, and this is where we need your help!
The University of Toronto Chapter has worked with 4 communities to design and build bridges across Central and South America. Helping approximately 2500 people, and counting, we continue to bridge the gap of isolation one project at a time.