The El Salvador project was established in 2002 within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London and has been supported by Engage for Development every year since 2009. For more information on Engage’s involvement in previous projects, visit our past projects page.


In 2013, the El Salvador Project, in partnership with Engage for Development, Arup and the local NGO REDES focused on three key areas:

  1. Engineering: Providing poverty-stricken communities in El Salvador with effective and sustainable engineering solutions.
  2. Education: Sharing engineering knowledge and practical skills with local people by working with them. This ensures the maintenance of the development work after the team’s departure.
  3. Evaluation: Understanding the effectiveness of the engineering solutions of past projects and making improvements. The evaluation process is crucial in measuring the impacts of the work provided on the beneficiaries.


The El Salvador Project 2013 consisted of evaluating the retrofit from the 2011 project in Costa Rica, where approximately 28 houses were successfully retrofitted in the high-risk community of San Jose de Costa Rica. This retrofit consisted of installing timber beams to the insides of all of the houses, fixed to the walls, in order to greatly improve their design capacity in the event of an earthquake. The houses were also provided with general maintenance. After this evaluation showed the initial design was a success, the El Salvador Project 2013 implemented the same design in San Jose Villanueva, a town selected by REDES based on risk of seismic activity.


Engage for Development supported the project by providing them with professional advice and a fundraising platform. One of the directors of Engage, Sebastian Kaminski, who works for Arup, provided the team with the retrofitting designs for the houses.