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US $19.95

Bridging Barriers: How a Community Changed Its Future with Help From Engineers Without Borders USA Volunteers


Gavina is frustrated. As a midwife with 40 years of experience, she knows what is needed to slash the infant and maternal mortality rates that are ravaging her Guatemalan Highlands community. Only two things stand in her way: a lack of clean water and a raging river nicknamed “The Assassin,” which blocks access to the hospital. Under the mentorship of Mike Shawcross, a crusty old Brit with four decades of international development experience, the Marquette University Engineers Without Borders USA team works with the community to build a water project and construct a bridge that defeats The Assassin. Through engaging personal stories, Bridging Barriers tells of the trials, tribulations and successes of the engineers and community members who gave new hope to La Garrucha.



Buy the book signed by

Cathy Leslie, Bernard Amadei,  and the author for $19.95

**All proceeds go to EWB Guatemala**

What People Are Saying

"Thanks to God and to the Engineers Without Borders members, our water project and bridge are working well. We hope that EWB continues helping other communities that are in need, just as we were."

Don Rolando – Community Coordinator for La Garrucha

"Mike’s passion for serving others comes through in everything he does, and this book is no different. The challenges of these projects and the satisfaction of working with students come alive in reading this book. If you have ever thought of giving back or using your engineering skills to make the world a better place, read this book!"

Dr. Mark Federle, PE, CPC – Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Marquette University.

"Bridging Barriers provides critical information to help make global engineering work a success. It should be required reading for all students and mentors interested in understanding how personal stories, community needs, mentoring and engineering service all combine to make the world a better place. It inspires our next generation of ethical builders."

Dr. Daniel Zitomoer, PE – Chair and Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Marquette University.

"Mike Paddock’s engrossing story is a firsthand, on-the-ground lesson in how communities can take charge of their futures against long odds and many obstacles. It’s a must-read for engineering students who want to make their lives matter, and for service organizations and philanthropists who want their money to make a difference."

John DeDakis – Journalist, Novelist, Writing Coach, and Former Senior Copy Editor for CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

"This book brings to life that engineering is all about people—not numbers and calculations. None of our classes provide the level of insight into the actual world of engineering as much as working on a real project that helps real people. Engineers Without Borders has given me my own looking glass into reality. This book is exactly what I was looking for to provide guidance and context for our EWB Project."

Alexandra Solecki – Marquette University Engineering Student

"Rotarians have learned that drilling a well alone will not solve a community’s water problem. It is essential to understand the dynamics of the community—how the well will change their lives and what it will take to settle into a new status quo. This book provides insights and lessons learned in community-building that will lead to the success of many projects around the globe."

Mary McCormick – Executive Director, Rotary Club of Milwaukee

"In Bridging Barriers, Michael Paddock delivers three important stories: practical wisdom for engineers working on development projects in emerging areas; humanizing the situation of the poor in Central America; and paying tribute to a friend and mentor, the late Sir Michael Shawcross. It is lively, engrossing reading for people interested in any of those topics."

Avi Lank – retired columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and co-author of The Man Who Painted the Universe


"I’ve met many engineers who think they’re writers. I’ve even met some writers who think they’re engineers. I’ve never met anyone like Mike, though, who truly is both engineer and writer. He writes beautifully about his experiences, always keeping the spotlight on the people around him and their passion for helping make the world a better place every day."

Ben Walpole, ASCE News Senior Manager

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