K'ellu Mayu Pedestrian Footbridge Technical Report; To Petition and Listen: How NGOs Work to Stop Deforestation in the Amazon

Reeves, Calvin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gomez, Jose, EN-CEE, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

How can nonprofits help protect the Amazon Basin’s ecological system and people?

How may safe cross-river connections over the Río K’ellu Mayu best be established?
Parts of the Amazon have unsafe river passages. Local people often make trips across moving
bodies of water for essential needs. Often this is a risk. Designing a footbridge across the Río
K’ellu Mayu serves the Pocona community in Bolivia. A student-led team along with University
of Virginia faculty and professional advisors completed this task with NGO, Engineers in Action
(EIA). Students performed design work and construction management. A standard design
approach by EIA was used by students first. A custom design was produced by students to satisfy
location restraints. The custom design was verified by EIA. A viable bridge was designed over
the Río K’ellu Mayu for the Pocona people.

How have NGOs protected the forests that indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin
depend upon? Indigenous peoples resist deforestation to protect the ecosystems that sustain them
materially and culturally. NGOs combat deforestation and protect indigenous people’s rights in
the Amazon by fighting for land use rights and raising awareness. Governments, lawyers,
spokespeople, and indigenous groups engage with NGOs fighting against invasive land use.
Indigenous people and their lives must be included in sustainable conversation.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Amazon, NGOs, Indigenous

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Technical Advisor: Jose Gomez

STS Advisor: Peter Norton

Technical Team Members: Jessica Brown, Sacha Choubah, Ronald Orellana, Gabriel Witter

Issued Date: