Ethan was born and grew up in Iowa City. He attended high school at Iowa
Mennonite School in Kalona, IA. He is the current President of “Continental
Crossings” the UI’s student chapter of the NGO “Bridges to Prosperity.” Ethan,
along with several other UI students, traveled to Nicaragua during the summer of
2012 to construct a 44-meter suspended bridge together with a rural community in
need. They've just returned from their summer 2013 project to build another bridge in central Nicaragua. Slides
depicted the work of the team, including the completed bridge, then retraced the
steps taken from start to finish.
Ethan explained that in many impoverished countries, the
rainy season causes rivers to flood and become impassable for weeks or months at
a time. Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) is a nonprofit organization that provides
isolated communities with access to essential health care, education, and
economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. The UI
student chapter (B2P) is part of a nongovernmental organization called “Continental
Crossings”. The team is responsible for building a relationship with the
community they are partnered with, working with them to build a footbridge
that they design and for which they personally fundraise. Funding is needed
and the group will pursue a grant application along with car washes and other
fundraising events. Upon completion of the 2012 bridge the team and the
villagers celebrated the final product with a piñata with the host families.
Some photos showed young children helping with removal of the rocks from the
river bed. The 2012 community’s population is about 250-300 and their native
language is Spanish. Some of the villagers learned some English.
more information see: www.continentalcrossings.com Any donation checks can be made
out to”Bridges of Prosperity” and sent to Continental Crossings c/o Luke Smith,
11 Cherry Lane, Iowa City, IA. 52240.