Since 2016, the Corcovado Foundation embarked on a huge challenge, building a suspension bridge for pedestrians, and perhaps motorcycles between the community of Progreso and the community of Agujitas. The project was a huge challenge. We made a great fundraising effort, we got around 5 million colones for materials from the Inter-American Foundation, $20,000 from a Canadian philanthropist and member of our organization, and about $2000 from GlobalGiving. We also raised 213 bags of cement donated by community members, companies and friends of the foundation.
In March 2017, we presented the project to the community, during which the participants committed themselves to support the workforce to build the bridge. Following this meeting with the community, a pro bridge committee is created, with the participation of several members of the community, mainly from Progreso. This group of people were the ones that validated all decisions that were taken regarding the bridge.
Subsequently, the Association of Integral Development (ADI) receives a donation of a 2006 Honda Odyssee vehicle with the purpose of being repaired and sold, so that its revenues could be used for the bridge. Even so, we did not have all the funds we required to build the bridge. Which forced us to seek engineering services as a donation. Unfortunately, the engineering services we received were poor and took a long time to arrive.
So with what we had, we started, but after the rains of October 2017, it was obvious that we needed to put gabions on the bridge. We were again waiting from the unpaid engineers for an appropriate design, when during one of those huge monsoon rains one of the bases of the bridge collapsed. Luckily, we had not used the bulk of the funds and most of the materials we had. We lost all the cement.
It is worth clarifying that when this base was located the first time, we placed it where the people who have lived in the town for many years, suggested. It was located as far away from the river as possible, without invading private property. No decision of the bridge was made without consultation to the community. It was in one of these meetings that it was decided to conduct topographic and hydrological studies to try again to build the bridge.
The fall of the bases forced us to seek new advice from engineers. We looked for a consulting firm who also donated their services to us, but this time their commitment to the project was tangible. They asked us to do topographic and water studies to know the composition of the land and the best location of the bridge. The foundation managed to get the topographic studies donated, however, the hydrologic studies had to be paid to the company IIG Consultores, which had a cost of $2,648.
After these studies, the engineers agreed that the only way to build a bridge and provide enough security, and withstand the onslaught of the river, its changes, and the effects of climate change, it was by building a structure of 122 meters (366 feet) long. The approximate cost of this was around 64 million colones (about $116,363.64).
In addition, studies showed that in order to build it, we were going to need to enter private property and for that we would need a donation of the property or to buy it. Given this perspective, there was nothing to do, we had to give up. The foundation does not have the resources to deal with a project of such magnitude.
The ADI staff members tell us that the funds, the remaining materials and the Odysee could be used by the organization to be allocated to community projects, specifically improvements for the high school, which is in huge disrepair. So, in July 2019, the remaining funds of the project were donated to the ADI, for them to invest in rebuilding the high school. We are really sorry that we were not able to pull this project off. We did we did what we could, with the resources we had. We will keep you posted of the progress of the high school. If you would like to donate for the highschool project, you can go to GlobalGiving https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/osa-community-support-fund/