PUC Mexico 2020
Hola, we are Projects with Underserved Communities (PUC) Team Mexico! We are seven engineering and social work students planning, designing, and implementing an engineering project in partnership with the Santiago Suchilquitongo community in Oaxaca, México. This experience will allow us to utilize our engineering knowledge in collaboration with a global community while gaining important technical and cross-cultural skills.
Over the course of the next year, we will be working with a community in Santiago Suchilquitongo to support sustainable economic development. Specifically, we are collaborating with Xuchil Products to improve the efficiency of mesquite pod processing. The Xuchil Products team spends their time cleaning, drying, and milling mesquite pods to produce nutrient-rich flour and other mesquite derivatives. Currently, they are expanding their market to include bakeries, food stores, and restaurants in the surrounding Oaxaca area and are beginning to sell products in the United States. Mesquite flour production, and the accompanying baked goods, provides meaningful employment opportunities for members of the team. Increasing the efficiency of their production processes will expand their profitability and influence. Our project is also in partnership with Tejiendo Alianzas, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Oaxaca that has been working with the Xuchil team since their establishment in 2017. Their mission to empower rural communities directly aligns with our team’s vision for our project.
This will be the third year that Projects with Underserved Communities works with the Xuchil team. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue this partnership and further improve the mesquite flour production process. For the past two years, PUC teams have worked to hone the drying process and increase production. Although the drying process is more efficient, there are still several opportunities for improvement in the rinsing process. Our project aims to maximize processing speed and increase the shelf-life of the mesquite flour.
Why we need you:
We will not be able to accomplish any of this without your donations! We use donations exclusively to fund the design and implementation of our project (students cover all of their own travel costs). We have committed to raising $15,000 to ensure that our project is successful. All donations are tax-deductible!