Community Pedestrian Bridge at Villa El Carmen

The Community Pedestrian Bridge at Villa El Carmen in Nicaragua is a noteworthy social project initiated in 2011 by ECI Development and its representatives, including Joel Nagel and Mike Cobb. Notably, Gran Pacifica, a part of ECI ‘s development portfolio, played a significant role in its realization.

People conversing, Community Pedestrian Bridge at Villa El Carmen

Gran Pacifica and the engineering students from the University of Notre Dame in the United States worked hand in hand, with the guidance of Mike Paddock from Bridges to Prosperity, to construct a suspension bridge in Nicaragua. Their objective with this bridge was to enable the residents of the area to sustain their livelihoods and enhance accessibility during the rainy seasons.


The communities that were selected as the final location for the bridge were San Bartolo and San Diego. These two communities are separated by the expansive San Diego River and its valley, making it difficult for San Bartolo residents to get down the road, especially during the rainy season. 

Building the Bridge

To construct the bridge, both hands-on work and donations were required. In this instance, students from Notre Dame and staff from Gran Pacifica showed great generosity by organizing fundraisers in Indiana to cover their own transportation expenses and living costs. The students received donations following a university football match, while Gran Pacifica graciously offered the use of their model home as more comfortable accommodations for the students to rest. 

During the first few days of construction, students had a challenging time due to the heavy rainfall. Although the students were aware of the limited space and food available upon arriving in Nicaragua, they were pleasantly surprised to be treated so kindly by the locals who prepared them food to remind them of home. They also had internet access in the evening for when they spent time in their homes.

Bridge Development Contribution

The impressive 120-meter-long bridge was made possible through the collaborative efforts of various organizations, including Gran Pacifica, the Notre Dame Team, and the generous community of Villa El Carmen. These commendable humanitarian initiatives align with ECI Development’s renowned commitment to making a positive impact in the communities they serve.