NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A pedestrian bridge in Honduras was destroyed by a hurricane 10 years ago. The community was tired of waiting for the government to fix it, so they called in a group of New Mexico State students.
This summer, more than 20 members of Aggies Without Limits traveled to the town of El Guanabano, located near the capital of Honduras.
After Hurricane Mitch destroyed the original bridge 10 years ago, people in the remote town had to climb over a steep hill full of thick brush and deal with rising river and flood waters in order to get to school and their jobs.
The community got tired of waiting for the government to fix the pedestrian bridge. The student organization said when members of the town reached out for help to build a new one, they couldn’t say no.
“When it came to rainy season, especially in hurricane season the floods, all the water would wash out the road. They would not be able to see well, where they were stepping, if they were stepping on a rock or a hole because the water was in the way,” said organization member, Hugo Sanchez Maqueda.
Aggies Without Limits spent three weeks and more than 4,000 combined work hours building the bridge.
The organization cut and treated wooden planks, built concrete towers, and improved a ditch to redirect flood waters.
They said their biggest challenges were delays in construction materials being shipped. The new structure is helping about 150 families that live in the community.
Residents said their prayers were answered and will never forget what these students did.
Sanchez Maqueda noted it was an experience that he won’t forget.
“They get really attached to you, and there was a lot of tears, and a lot of happy faces, and they truly got to enjoy the three weeks that we were with them, and they were really thankful,” Sanchez Maqueda said.
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Aggies Without Limits of New Mexico State University was founded in 2007. The nonprofit was established to help improve the quality of life through sustainable engineering projects.
The group has worked on projects in New Mexico and other countries besides Honduras.