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Panama Trip Review: 2017 Wrap-up/2018 Kick-off

Panama Trip Review: 2017 Wrap-up/2018 Kick-off

The Panama team had a busy 2017!  Collectively, team members were on-site in Hato Rincón for 8 total weeks and in that time, the building was surveyed and staked out, the perimeter was excavated, reinforcing was installed for strip footings, stem walls, and columns, and concrete footings were placed.  Roughly 17 cubic yards of concrete were mixed by hand – that’s 67,000 pounds of concrete that was mixed, moved, and placed by our team!

To close-out 2017 and set-up 2018 for another big year of construction in Rincón, Tom Yost (Structural Responsible Engineer-In-Charge) and Ricardo Venegas (NGO Partner – Health for Humanity) travelled back to the community on the day after Christmas.  The construction goals for this trip were to ensure that all foundations were correctly placed, that column reinforcing was tied and aligned for future pours, to start stem wall and column base concrete placement along the west wall and storage room, and inventory the remaining construction materials.

Over the next 6 days, Tom and Ricardo were able to complete the last few sections of concrete footing placement to complete all of the perimeter footings, pour (6) column bases on the west and south walls, place two stem walls at the southeast corner, and align wall and column reinforcing for future concrete.  Accomplishing these tasks was crucial for establishing a good footing to move into 2018 so that when we return, we’re able to hit the ground running with slab placement.  In addition to these construction goals, visiting the community was imperative to keep our community volunteers actively progressing construction.  When we return in June, we’re expecting the site to be leveled for slab placement, aggregate collected and sorted for concrete mixing, and concrete block fabrication to be underway.


The last order of business was to ring in the New Year Ngöbe-style so we shared a fun night of food, festivities, and fireworks with the community.

We’re looking forward to returning to Hato Rincón on June 9, 2018 to kick off another 5 week series of volunteer trips.  There is still plenty of concrete to be mixed if you’d like to give us a hand!