EWB-USA’s Guatemala Country Director, Steve Crowe, is an outdoor enthusiast dedicated to exploring the Guatemalan landscapes with his wife and kids. In the office, he focuses his energy on making our Guatemala projects the best they can be!
How did you first learn about and get involved with EWB-USA?
My first involvement was helping to implement a micro-hydroelectric project that was done by an EWB-USA chapter in a nearby area of Guatemala more than six years ago. I have been in contact with the organization ever since. When the opportunity came up to collaborate in the establishment of the Guatemalan office, I jumped at it!
Tell us about your new role here. Who will you interact with and impact the most?
I am charged with running the new Guatemala in-country office. In that role, I interact with communities, local partners and chapters working in Guatemala, as well as staff at EWB-USA headquarters. Our goal is to make projects executed in Guatemala as efficient, enjoyable and impactful as possible — and I will be doing everything I can to make that happen!
What part of your job are you most excited about and why?
I am really excited about identifying areas of EWB-USA’s Guatemalan projects that can be made even better by implementing new processes and partnerships. I have seen firsthand the positive impact our projects can have on Guatemalan communities; being able to contribute to the growth of that impact is a big motivation for me.
What’s the most unique/interesting/impactful engineering project you have helped implement?
I haven’t been involved with EWB-USA long enough to have a specific experience here I can point to. From the past, though, I’d point to a micro-hydroelectric project that provides electricity for more than 300 families in a community 40km from the national electric grid. It’s gratifying to see the impact electricity has on people’s lives, as well as the impact that comes from a community operating and maintaining these systems on their own. Those two components – infrastructure that impacts people’s lives and community ownership and maintenance – are part of every EWB-USA project, and I’m very excited to be a part of that.
What does “engineering change” mean to you?
Engineering change means several things to me. It means using a purposeful, process-driven approach to create the change the people we serve want to see in their lives. It means changing the reason we use our engineering knowledge so that it creates positive, lasting impact in the world. And, here in Guatemala, it means actually engineering infrastructure projects rather than using the empirical approach that too often leads to da
ngerously constructed projects or projects that don’t fulfill their determined function.
How do you spend your free time?
I love to move, especially outside … hiking, running, working out, mountain biking. Guatemala has many beautiful landscapes for this type of activity. I especially love being active with my wife, Waleska, and our eight-year-old son, Gabriel. And I’m looking forward to hauling our three-month-old son, Halel, on my back once he’s a little bit older.