Backround On the EWB

Engineers Without Borders USA was officially established in 2002, but the idea began with a chance conversation that Dr. Bernard Amadei had with a landscaper who happened to be working in Amadei’s backyard. In 2000, Angel Tzac, the landscaper working in the doctor’s yard, invited Amadei to San Pablo, Balize, where there was a desperate need for clean water. As a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado, Amadei knew that there must be something he could do to help. In San Pablo, there was no electricity, but moreover there was no sanitation or clean running water. Children often had to spend a substantial amount of time simply gathering and carrying water from a nearby river back to their homes. Amadei knew that he could help, and help he did. In 2001 he went back to San Pablo, bringing along eight engineering students. Together they succeeded in installing a water system powered by a nearby waterfall, providing clean water to San Pablo. The project was low-budget, costing only 14,000 dollars to create a simple and sustainable source of water. So began Engineers Without Borders-USA. Amadei, with help from University students, developed several other low budget projects to help the population of San Pablo as well as other places in need of such assictance. In June of 2002, Engineers Without Borders-USA was incorporated. Since 2002, EWB has grown to over 12,000 members, and they now have over 350 projects in 45 different countries. From that single group that went to San Pablo in 2000 has come over 250 chapters around the United States. Their vision is a world “in which all communities have the capacity to meet their basic human needs.”