Monday, March 6, 2017

EWB-USU helps Peruvian alpaca farmers


EWB-USU with Peruvian farmers in a completed shelter

The Utah State University chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USU) has been working on alpaca shelters in La Union, Peru since 2013. As the weather gets colder, many of the baby alpacas and sheep die, which severely impacts the farmers’ livelihoods. The EWB-USU  Peru Team wanted to reduce that problem.


EWB-USU measuring poles to be used on shelters
Coming up with the shelter design took about two years. The team needed something portable, sturdy, made from locally-available materials, and easy to assemble and repair. Once they found the preliminary  design, the team traveled to La Union in 2015 to build the first prototype. Over the next year, the community tested the prototype and provided feedback so the design could be refined.  In 2016, the team helped the community install three more shelters using the updated design, purchased the materials to build eight more, and provided the community with instructions to assemble the shelters. The shelters are made of an aluminum frame with a canvas tarp covering and are staked into the ground.  

This upcoming summer (2017) the team wants to improve the design of the shelter doors, which don't go all the way to the ground. In addition, the team wants to help the community to build many more shelters, and make any repairs or adjustments needed to the existing shelters.

If you are interested in learning more or joining the team, please visit our website at http://ewb.usu.edu

Setting up the aluminum poles

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