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As we ventured away from huarmey and into smaller villages I could not help but be engulfed by the beauty of the mountains. The ride from huarmey to huanchey was incredible, we got a righed from a truck driver and sat in a small carriage on top of the cab. Although the ride was on unpaved roads and incredibly bumpy the views seemed unreal. Huanchey is nice village and the people are incredible friendly. The food is also amazing, I have yet to have a meal that I have not been utterly satisfied with.


Between our trip from huarmey to huanchey we stopped at a small village called turripampa (probably spelt wrong) to disassembly a wind mill that had been installed on a previous trip. The goal is to move the wind mill to a new location about a quarter mile away. The family we stayed with were extremly nice and seemed pleased to have us in their company. The children tried to teach us spanish and learn english. I brought a football along for the trip and the kids were excited to try something new, I think we would have played all night if the sun didnt go down. I was a little sad to leave the family, but I knew their was work to be done in Huanchey.


First Timer

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I have never been on a plane, never been outside the country, never blogged and this two week long trip is sure to bring many more first time experiences for me. I am anxious to begin this journey and would like to thank all the people who make it possible year after year and Professor Duffy for inviting me to come with this group. As we are now just one day away from departure I am not nervous rather anxious to put my recently acquired degree in Mechanical Engineering to good use. I am also looking forward to experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, although I realize that my Spanish is lacking and the language barrier may be difficult at times I feel that the trip will be a truly rewarding experience.

During my Undergraduate studies at UMASS Lowell I worked alongside Kevin Duncan and Graduate student Maia Benavente in performing a structural and thermal analysis of the first generation passive solar adobe house. Goals for the trip are to obtain feedback on the first generation house from the locals and figure out if their are changes or improvements they would like to see made. At our University we did research on varying the composition of the building material and how it affected the structural and thermal properties. The equipment we used is vastly different then how locals test the adobe bricks, therefore it is important to work with locals and learn how they make it, how they determine when its ready for use and how they determine if its strong/safe enough for construction. Combining the knowledge we obtained through our research and the knowledge of the local builders we would like to propose a new composition for the bricks of roughly 30% straw by volume for a secondary wall layer which would improve the thermal efficiency of the passive solar house. We hope to begin construction on the second generation passive solar adobe house as well.

For more information on the Village Empowerment Project visit

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