Gabriela Lima, Environmental Engineer

picture of gabriela 1

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW WITH GABY LIMA? Gaby graduated from the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana in December of 2014. She wrote an excellent thesis, using spectometry results to analyze the mineral leaching properties of various small erosion-preventing tree species. She has been able to secure good-paying employment at several  engineering firms. Last fall she got married and had a baby girl Valeria Raquel on the 12th of May. We are proud grandparents. Gaby plans to continue her education and get a masters degree en industrial safety.

Gabriela completed her course work at the end of July. She has to complete an undergraduate thesis on soil contamination and its effects on the growth of alfalfa. She plans to be done in December. Of the 45 students who began her program, she is one of 8 who will graduate.

Gabriela excelled in her high school, graduating as the best student in the area of mathematics and physics. She wanted to study engineering in order to put her love and talent for mathematics to use. Environmental engineering offers her the chance to work on problems about water, sewage, air quality, and waste disposal that pose problems for her own barrio and generally, for poor people in cities like Quito. She is now in her sixth semester of study at the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana. Her cohort of students in this program originally numbered 45; now only 12 remain.

Gabriela gets up before five every morning so as to get to the University by seven when classes start. She takes three different buses to get there; on a good day, this takes an hour and a half. Next semester, her classes will begin at five in the afternoon instead. Since Quito is very dangerous at night, she will need to get an apartment near the University to continue her studies. Thanks to our emergency fund, she will be able to do that. Update: Thanks to generous donors, Gabriela now has an efficiency within ten minutes of her university. She did very well in her classes first semester, and is on track to graduate in the summer of 2013. She will write her senior thesis on waste water management.

Update: August 2012, Gabriela completed her seventh semester with excellent grades. She is doing an internship at the Ministry of the Environment in Quito during the month of August

Gabriela’s parents, Alfonso and Delicia, run a small eight-table restaurant that they rent in the front part of a house. In the past, her mother has cleaned houses. They believe in educating their children. Their oldest daughter is a university-trained nurse, and their son is an auto mechanic who attends night classes.