Panama Dehydrator Student Project

Hello! We are freshmen students at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. I am on a team of fellow honors students who are working to engineer and build a solar fruit dehydrator in the town of Ipeti Embera, Panama. Our dehydrator is designed to dry mangoes, which grow in an abundance in the rural village; we then help the community sell their mangoes internationally and create a business for themselves. The team:

We will be traveling over our Thanksgiving break to build our first dehydrator in Panama, and expect to return in April to build another. If we can build these before the mango growing season begins in late April, we can help the community make thousands of dollars and employ over 15 workers. To help them build more, we are creating a translated construction manual so that an entrepreneurial community member can build more in other towns, which helps make what we do a sustainable, local-driven solution.

We have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation through their Innovation Corps, and have received some funding from the Pieper Endowment for Servant Leadership. This project was requested of us by Global Brigades – Panama, and we are so excited to help! What your donation will go towards are the direct construction costs of the dehydrator, and flight and living costs for our travel team.

We are also talking to nonprofits in Liberia and Uganda where we have plans to build future dehydrators, and we have already built one in Jamaica! Even if we reach our goal, I encourage you to keep donating—each dollar given will be directly spent on a partner community’s improvement, whether in Panama or elsewhere. Our team from Jamaica:

Personally, it’s very exciting for me to embrace the challenge of engineering design as a freshman, and to have the opportunity to make such a difference. This will be my first time out of the country, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Thanksgiving. Thank you for helping to make this a reality.
  • Alvin Stroyny 
    • $20 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $72 
    • 46 mos
  • Debra Novak 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Arnold and Diane Novak 
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
  • Art DeFields 
    • $25 
    • 47 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jonah Hinds 
Milwaukee, WI
Joshua Shefner 
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