Martha, The New Geotechnical Engineer

Martha Silva Canaviri1

Congratulations to Martha Silva Canaviri on her graduation from the University of San Andres with a degree in Geotechnical Engineering. We're especially gratified when female students are empowered to enter traditionally male fields, particularly in a machismo culture.

(Martha and a classmate analyze materials from a field trip, above.)

Martha’s coursework included environmental impact studies. In one course, she learned to recognize different layers of clay and sandy soil by color and structure. 

She  learned to analyze the soil and water, and to study the distinct types of vegetation and animals in an area. The course included field work and classroom study.

Martha also participated in a case study of the impact of a supermarket in Achacachi, looking at both the positive and negative effects.

In her Topography course, Martha learned to use GPS equipment to do surveys. Her class also learned to program in the specialized computer languages for cartography.  Martha Silva Canaviri

A field trip to the road to Yungas was part of her economic geography course. They studied and experienced the sub-Andean weather system, where fronts from the East bring fog and moisture. Martha experienced the weather as well as learning “Cold is a feature of the place.” She notes that they experienced it since they had to walk quite a distance.

Martha expressed her appreciation for her BQEF scholarship. “Without the help you gave me to continue my studies, I could not have completed my dream of being a professional."


Martha learns to use surveying equipment.