Project Description

Community Location Map

The El Socavon community is located in the Jinotega municipal region in north-central Nicaragua, near the northeast corner of Apanas Lake.

Primarily a rural farming community, El Socavon has approximately 200 residents in 80 households. El Socavon applied for EWB assistance in early 2022.

The project scope is a common one among EWB’s International Community Program: The community desires improved drinking water infrastructure to provide a safe source of water to all residents.

The community’s current primary water source is a local canal, which is frequently polluted and poses health risks to the community.

The community desires to make use of two natural springs within the community’s boundaries. The project entails building systems to collect this spring water, treating it if necessary, storing it, and then distributing it to the existing network of homes through a pipe system.

The Denver Professional Chapter is currently partnering on this project with students from the Colorado School of Mines student chapter (Mines Without Borders).

The students bring a wealth of energy and enthusiasm, as well as existing project experience in Nicaragua. The professionals help with mentorship and oversight. Both parties contribute funds to the project.

Project Status Updates

The Denver Professionals currently meet on Mondays at 7pm to provide updates on the project, and some professionals attend meetings with the Mines students in-person at the Golden campus on Tuesdays.

Below are a brief list of project status updates. If you would like to get involved with this project, please reach out to the project lead Stephan Goertzen (, or the REIC for the project Molly Sullivan ( to get invites to the Professional meetings on Mondays.

February 7, 2023 – This is the first status update for this project. The team is planning to travel for an assessment trip in mid-May 2023 with the Mines students. The assessment trip will collect information vital to the design of a sustainable solution for this community, including technical data such as critical water quality criteria and planning information such as material availability & identification of local contractors, as well as forging the relationship with the community. The team is working with the in-country office to set up an initial meeting with the community and a local NGO to begin planning out the trip, and is simultaneously working on the necessary travel paperwork (the pre-assessment report) for EWB.

Meet The Team!

We have several additional team members not pictured. We are still looking for volunteers to take on the following leadership roles:

Outreach/Fundraising Lead – This role would partner with the related Mines student team to develop our fundraising efforts. We primarily expect this role to focus on developing grant applications, and it would be ideal for someone who cannot regularly attend in-person meetings. We would be happy to support anyone willing to take responsibility for this critical role!

Social/Community Relations Lead – This role would partner with the related Mines student team to maintain contact with the community, work on non-technical aspects of the project (such as helping the community develop an organization to maintain the developed water system), and plan activities to enhance our relationship with the community during our travels and remotely (identifying other needs they might have, planning out events, etc.)! This role can be defined by the person who is willing to take it on. Spanish language skills may be helpful but are NOT mandatory, as the combined Pro/Mines team has other Spanish speakers. Again, we would be happy to help you if you are willing to accept this responsibility for the role!