A new family in the Rancheria community

A new family in the Rancheria community

August 17, 2015

Authored by Javier Escandon on August 9. Javier served as the Project Manager for the Bridges to Prosperity suspension bridge build in Rancheria, Nicaragua.

After enjoying our first breakfast together at Hotel Las Mercedes, the team left Managua and headed for Rancheria. During the journey, we learned how many people can travel in an old school bus, now converted into a ‘Bus de Linea,’ and how much Nicaraguans enjoy travelling in the back of their pickups. We stopped by a supermarket to buy groceries, where we met some members of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P). Next stop, a local restaurant where we were honoured to meet the Deputy Mayor of Muy Muy, who gave us a welcoming speech. On behalf of the team, I explained to him that both building a bridge and integrating with the community were equally important goals for us.

Now heading into the second week, we have made excellent progress thanks to the efforts from both the CH2M team and comCrossbeam_installationmunity members. Despite the many challenges that each task is presenting, the construction activities are delivered to programme and as a result of that we have agreed to bring forward the inauguration by a day (Thursday, August 13). Therefore, the first goal is on track and looking good.

Javier_hanging_suspendersRegarding the second goal, I can say that the engagement with the community has exceeded my expectations. Being the only native Spanish speaker in the team, I felt it was my responsibility to ensure the integration between the team and the community. Every morning we have a day briefing in two languages where both our team and local workers discuss the work plan for the day. The sub-teams assigned to each task usually include a mix between the experience of the local workers (including their expertise on the use of ‘machetes’) and the enthusiasm of our team members. Other community members often stop to watch how their bridge is being built and enjoy our explanations as we say hello and talk them through the construction process. During each meal, we gather with our drivers Raul and Ramon as well as the kids of the family that looks after us. Last night, we all had dinner at the house of one of the community leaders, who kindly invited us to a delicious ‘Nacatamale’. It is incredible to see how my teammates are so keen to engage with the locals despite the language barrier and how much they enjoy this interaction. The community in Rancheria has indeed embraced us and we have embraced them back.

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August 2015


  1. Felicity Sims

    Hi CH2Mers! Hope you are all having a fantastic time, its a brilliant thing you are all doing. Keep safe and remember the memories! From Javier's team in London! :)

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