The team constructed the suspension bridge in such a short period of time, but for those working hard each day in the heat and humidity, it felt so much longer than it actually was. After a few days R&R, the team arrived back in the village to celebrate the completion and grand opening of the Seguidules Bridge.
However, before the opening ceremony began, the beautiful banner decorated by the children needed to be hung. Notice the many “puentes” (bridges) there are, and can you find the paper tower?
The team were on site early and had a couple hours before the locals arrived and the ceremony began. To fill the time they did a bit of Quality Control! Well – we are engineers after all! This involved tightening a bolt or two and strolling back and forth across the bridge.
The ceremony eventually began when the Representante, a.k.a. the little Mayor, showed with ice and beer.
The ceremony commenced with some speeches from the Representante, Maria of B2P, Lucy’s father, Claudio, and Huriel.
We hope to be able to post some additional speeches from the locals in a week or so – so please check back.
Once the speeches were done, it was time to cut the ribbon and walk the bridge! The excited crowd gathered beneath the banner.
The ceremony ended with lunch for everyone, made by Lucy, beers, and dancing!
The team headed off early to travel back to Panama City, leaving the locals to continue the celebration into the night.
The team said their goodbyes to Lucy, the villagers, Holly, Maria, and to each other. This has been a once in a lifetime experience for all of them.
A big thank you goes out to Bridges to Prosperity for providing this amazing opportunity and especially to Devin, Maria, and Holly for guiding us on this journey.
Thank you to COWI and American Bridge for the collaboration.
Thank you to the locals, who helped carry materials, cut the grass with machetes, cut the planks, clamped the suspenders, cooked the food, and helped us build the bridge.
Finally, thank you to our many colleagues, friends, and family who supported the team.
The Seguidule Panama 2017 B2P Site Team:
Adam, Alex, Bruce, Claudio, Darrel, Don, Drew, Huriel, Louise, and Slade.