Making Connections WALSH AT WORK

An established partnership between Walsh Construction, Bridges to Prosperity and International Bridge Technologies resulted in a new suspended footbridge for a remote village in Bolivia.

Separated by the Rio Yaco River

Challoma Chico, located in Bolivia’s La Paz region, is a mountainous community home to approximately 450 residents that was becoming separated from essential goods and services by the Rio Yaco River, especially in the wet season.

Sharing Safety Culture

The Walsh team flew from Miami to La Paz, then drove five hours to Challoma. Upon their arrival, they quickly became immersed in the culture. The team shared some culture too, especially when it came to construction safety; introducing Stretch & Flex to the locals before work was to begin.

A Welcoming Community

From the time the team arrived, they were met with open arms by the village residents. On their first night, the village prepared dinner for the entire bridge team. The people of Challoma Chico were incredibly gracious during the team's entire stay.

Team of Volunteers

Eight Walsh volunteers, from engineers to superintendents to surveyors, were part of a project team that built the suspension bridge in less than two weeks. Walsh team members included: David Buch, Aaron Dye, Kim Guse, Amelia Johnson, Mike Lack, James Neeley, Erin Schultz and Stephen Specht.

Teamwork Fills the Abutment

One of the biggest challenges of construction was filling the abutment. The logistics of the site did not allow for any equipment to help relocate materials. The team worked to create a human chain, passing stones one-at-a-time up the hillside. Village residents were eager to help as well.

Hands-On Construction

The 160-foot suspension bridge was constructed in less than two weeks. The bridge was constructed without the use of any equipment; all work was performed by the hands of the construction team.

A Bridge to Prosperity

Before completion, villagers had to walk across a deteriorating bridge that rose only a few feet above the river. The new footbridge now rises 25 feet above the Rio Yaco, and provides safe access to markets, fresh water, services and schools.


Upon completion of the bridge, the village celebrated with a grand opening event with music, food, dancing, and also received a visit from regional dignitaries. The Governor of La Paz visited Challoma Chico for the first time to witness the bridge, and join in the festivities with the local citizens.


Walsh is proud to be a partner with Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate poverty caused by rural isolation. They partner with organizations, professionals and corporations to build footbridges over impassable rivers. Bridges to Prosperity has supported or constructed over 200 footbridges in 20 countries, serving nearly one million people. Click here to learn more about this incredible organization.

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