2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program | Coffee Farm Irrigation – Quenta Sol, Brazil

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2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program | Coffee Farm Irrigation – Quenta Sol, Brazil

Helping communities meet their basic human needs

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.@TetraTech supports #EWBUSA in creating a #sustainable source of income for an #indigenous community in #Brazil: http://bit.ly/2fYrfIb
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 8:00am

Tetra Tech is proud to support Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) and Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB Canada) to help communities in developing countries meet their basic human needs through lasting, scalable projects and technologies. Tetra Tech has a long history of corporate support for both organizations, including financial sponsorship and leadership involvement.

Tetra Tech's EWB-USA Grant Program provides funding to individual projects with which U.S.-based Tetra Tech associates are involved. From a field of worthy applicants, Tetra Tech selected four 2013-2014 EWB-USA grant recipients. In this article, we focus on coffee farm irrigation in Quenta Sol, Brazil.

Creating a Sustainable Source of Income for an Indigenous Community in Brazil

In the rural inland region of northern Brazil, an enclave of black Brazilians descended from freed or escaped slaves live in the Quilombo of Quenta Sol, an officially recognized indigenous community. The community is struggling to maintain its rich heritage in the midst of staggering poverty, isolation, and racial discrimination that is the legacy of legal slavery in Brazil.

While government policies have long since changed, Quenta Sol still lacks modern infrastructure—water, sewage, electricity, and paved roads. Most youth leave the village to find work in the cities. As a result, Quenta Sol, like many other indigenous communities in Brazil, is dying. The community has requested the help of EWB-USA to improve their economy.

Quenta Sol sits in the heart of Brazil’s coffee growing region. The price of this lucrative export has risen dramatically in the past two years. Tetra Tech is supporting the EWB South Denver Professionals Chapter (EWB-SDPC) as it partners with Quenta Sol and the nonprofit Socially Conscious Coffee to implement an operational organic coffee farm. The farm will forever change the community’s economic future.

The team first will develop a viable water supply, improving the lives of community residents and preparing for the sustainable irrigation system needed for the coffee farm. The second phase is the implementation of the coffee farm and provision of the training required to operate and to expand it.

Through EWB-SDPC, Tetra Tech employees volunteer side by side with colleagues at Lockheed Martin, using their engineering skills to support the community of Quenta Sol.

“Tetra Tech and Lockheed Martin have worked together at our Waterton Facility for seven years, but the relationship in the Denver area goes back more than two decades,” says Elliot Goldman, EWB-SDPC president and mechanical engineer with Lockheed Martin in Colorado. “Thanks to Tetra Tech’s generous support, we can now begin our volunteer work with Quenta Sol.”