MIT mission visits EcoSur Nicaragua

MIT mission visits EcoSur NicaraguaJoel Veenstra, a young civil engineering student from the Massachussets Institute of Technologies, MIT, made a one week training in the offices of EcoSur in Nicaragua to learn everything about the FerroCement Panels (PFC) construction system. The knowledge from this training will be applied in construction projects in Kenya, Africa.

The PFC construction system allows to build a basic core shelter of 15 square meter in just 3 days. It is a very fast and effective emergency response construction system. The EcoSur network is setting up in Haiti a PFC and MicroConcrete Roofing tiles workshop to rebuild after the disaster. This workshop will also be used as a apprentice school for masonry students with the Dual Education system, already succesfully implemented in Nicaragua.

About his experience in Nicaragua, Joel tell us:

"My experience in Nicaragua was more than I could have asked for. I learned a great amount about practical uses and production techniques of ferrocement panels. The staff allowed me to gain hands on experience and encouraged me to participate and ask questions.
Misión del MIT visita a EcoSur en NicaraguaFar from seamless, the experience seemed very natural, and this taught me much more than a simple instructional guide. I learned what to avoid, what could go wrong, and other real-time issues. There were very few problems, but when they did arise the Ecotec* staff was honest and instructive.

This program was exciting. I learned that what I knew as theory was certainly viable, and in fact being used in the production of small homes in Nicaragua, and in humanitarian efforts in Haiti. I was also able to discuss the designs of my own team's project with experienced engineers and architects.

It was not only the organization as a whole that impressed me, but everyone working there was a blessing. Though I was assigned one guide, the others who I met were interested and concerned about the progress of the program. Willing to improvise and adjust for my needs, I was saved from my language barrier by a very capable local translator. Put up in a beautiful home, I was more than comfortable at night, and the younger staff even showed me around the local scene in the evenings. They also graciously took me on a small tourism expedition after my Friday work was done!

I would return in an instant."

*EcoSur main partner in Nicaragua

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Consultants

Paul Moreno A.
Ecuadorean
Chemist
Spanish, English, German
Quality assurance, processes standarization
Chemical / food processes
Communications Officer - EcoSur webmaster
Customer service representative

Humour

Videos

In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.