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Saturday, April 28, 2012 7:01 p.m.

GW Engineers Without Borders takes efforts to global scale

Sophomores Nico Vivaldi and Yash Jain play with squirt guns at Friday's Engineers Without Borders event. Photo courtesy of Rhiannon Scanlon

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Laurie Goodman.

When it comes to solving the global issue of sustainable development, a knowledge of math, science and engineering sure helps. But a big appetite doesn’t hurt either.

Students in GW Engineers Without Borders assembled Friday in Kogan Plaza to host an all-you-can-eat event as a fundraiser for the organization’s emerging El Salvador aid program. The program aims to service underprivileged communities by providing them with infrastructural and developmental advancements.

The event helped finance the organization’s five-year initiative to aid communities in the small village of La Peña, El Salvador, where student members traveled during spring break. During the trip, six Engineers Without Borders students and two professional engineer mentors installed two latrines in the village to combat the community’s lacking waste management infrastructure.

Funds raised Friday will contribute to a week-long visit to La Peña in January.

“The families live in the village of La Peña, which is at the very top of a mountain,” Elizabeth Hubler, president of GW Engineers Without Borders, said. “Seventeen of the 33 families have no bathroom facilities, which has been polluting crops and other surrounding villages.”

The organization has been working over the past year to establish a relationship with the La Peña community, hoping to eventually complete a water project within the village.

“The students and professional mentors were completely immersed in the lives of those living in the village,” Hubler said. “They are some of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet.”