Summer School Members

Meet the Guateca Summer School Team!

Pete Schwartz, Instructor, Cal Poly Physics Department

Tekuru (on shoulders) was on the winter research trip in December 2010, and is now almost 7 years old and is building community with the girls in San Pablo

Tekuru (on shoulders) was on the winter research trip in December 2010, and is now almost 7 years old and is building community with the girls in San Pablo

After a decade of scholarship dedicated to nanotechnology, I took a year’s sabbatical in 2006 with the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley ( to study renewable energy, and models of sustainability. Since then, my teaching and scholarship has been dedicated to energy, and the interface between technology and society. The overarching challenge is to provide services to society in a way that is accessible and beneficial to all. This requires attention to the environment and recognition that the solutions may have more to do with social restructuring than implementation of new technologies. My students and I have conducted technological, financial, and environmental analysis of renewable energy (especially concentrated solar), personal vehicle transportation, and technology substitutions toward carbon neutrality. These more technical studies have provided insight and support for two community outreach projects in collaboration with many faculty and community members here and abroad:
International Outreach: We have introduced two international service learning classes using a collaborative model sharing information with overseas communities and introducing appropriate technologies as a means to generate wealth and provide services. Our students in these classes are designing a summer school in Guatemala for Cal Poly and Guatemalan students starting 2011. In December 2010, 12 Cal Poly students traveled to Guatemala to develop this school and explore projects with Guatemalan partners.
Local Curriculum: We are developing a community partnership surrounding a yearlong, full time, integrated sustainability-oriented curriculum ( for Cal Poly freshmen involving partnership with local businesses and organizations. Target starting date is January 2012.

Kevin Williams, Instructor, Cal Poly Industrial Manufacturing Engineering Department


In my seventh year of teaching construction technologies at Cal Poly, I an excited to teach with Pete Schwartz on a topic that has always been close to my life style, that of appropriate technologies. As a licensed general contractor, and with the benefit of having worked in construction and fabrication since the early 90’s, I have a great deal of skill in construction methods and fabrication that I bring to the prototype portion of our class.

Having lived aboard a sailboat and off the grid for more than a decade, I fully embrace the technologies that we are designing. Over the last two decades I have spent the bulk of my time working with wood, concrete, composites, electrical, mechanical, and of course steel. This class acts provides the exciting opportunity to explore what these modern construction technologies can bring to the largest economic levels of humanity.


Soy Gema Teresita Velásquez Velásquez, pertenezco al grupo MEJORAMIENTO DE CASAS (hogar dulce hogar). Estudio Ingeniería Ambiental en la Universidad Rural de Guatemala.


Soy María José Tamar Velásquez Pérez, estudio Ingeniería Ambiental en la Universidad Rural de Guatemala… y formo parte del equipo de Nutrición con Macedonio Pérez Roblero. Y Guateca es una gran oportunidad para fortalecer los proyectos en San Pablo.


Hola. Soy Janeth Arreaga Pérez, estudio Tercero Básico en el instituto de san pablo tacaná, me siento orgullosa de pertenecer a Guateca, y estoy en el equipo “Mejoramiento de Casas” y espero pronto ejecutar el proyecto. !!saludos y abrazos!!

Student Name: Jessica Riccio
Concentration: Digitial Forensics
Age: 20

Biography: I grew up in a smaller rural town in Southern California. When I was younger, I played many sports and participated in Theatre. Sports and Theatre are important to me and I hope I can expand my horizons in both of these in San Pablo. This summer, I hope to be working on any of the solar water project, building insulation, and possibly the water filtration system. I’m very excited to come to San Pablo and learn everything there is to know!


Student Name: Roman Couvrette
Concentration: Sustainable Community Development
Age: 23

Biography: Raised in a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountain region of Northern California, I have always had a great interest in the natural environment and the different ways we choose to live among it. With my education at Cal Poly I hope to become involved in the development of sustainably run, intelligently designed communities centered around health and opportunity for all its members. During my stay in San Pablo I will be working on a video documentary aimed at capturing the spirit of the local community. With your help I hope to not only discover the unique culture of San Pablo, but in turn demonstrate to the rest of the world the great achievements that we will accomplish as partners in learning — and more importantly as friends.


Student Name: Thomas Strickland
Concentration: Economics and Sustainable Environments
Age: 22

Biography: Tom grew up in Northern California between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe where he was constantly exposed to the local art community through his mother, an art consultant and his father, an acrylic and mixed medium artist. He played American football through high school and enjoys travel, art, cycling and creating food. Tom studies many things at Cal Poly and has been interested in the advancement of long term thinking and practices for most of his life. Tom is currently most interested in renewable energy, he is also interested in education, organic agriculture, solar water heaters, ceramics, and refrigerators. Tom looks forward to developing a senior project in Fall based on work from Guateca.

Carl Petterson
Materials Engineering
20 years

Throughout my childhood in Ohio, an active lifestyle and academic rigor played a large role in my life. Aside from classes, I participated in marching band a track for all 4 years of high school.
Attending Cal Poly has expanded me both mentally and physically. I have moved from track to triathlons, and my academic focus has become broader and concentrated on long-term learning. To make my time at Cal Poly a truly educational and personally enriching experience I have been broadening my studies to encompass a larger scope of my interests, and I have been varying my extracurricular experiences.
I hope to contribute a fraction of the academic and social wealth that I am sure I will take away from this project.

Rory Aronson
Mechanical Engineering
Age: 20
I grew up in San Diego, California. I love to surf, bike, skate, snowboard, climb, camp, listen to music, and make stuff. I am looking forward to coming to San Pablo for the cultural experience it holds. I want to get back in touch with the Spanish language and to live with a family for 2 months will be nothing short of amazing. As far as the technology projects go, I am interested in them all! I currently compost at home and I am in the process of making a composting toilet as well. I also have a rain water collection system on my shed and have tried building solar ovens before. The refrigeration, home insulation, composting, solar concentrator, solar hot water, and micro hydro projects are all right up my alley and I look forward to being a part of their development with everyone!

Dayton Pickering
Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Minor
Age: 20 (and will be turning 21 in Guatemala, oh man)
As a third year Biomedical Engineering student, I started feeling stuck going down the road to prosthetic design or laboratory research. So I made a U-turn and am pursuing the things I am really interested in- helping people who really need help. I have been focusing on water filtration and quality control, because I believe that clean water is a basic human right, and over a billion people don’t even have access to it. Using my background in biology, mixed with my ability to think and perform like an engineer, I am hoping to work on the water filtration project this summer. I will also be doing a small internship on the side in water filter bags with the company DayOneResponse, a start-up out of Cal Poly. I can’t wait to get to Guatemala!

Nombre: Dayton Pickering
Permiso a mi espanol, es un trabajo en curso!
Estoy estudiando ingenieria biomedica con un concentración en ingenieria ambiental. No quiero trabajar en un laboratorio haciendo investigaciónes, quiero viajar y trabajar con personas que necesitan ayuda. Estoy enfocando en la calidad del agua porque creo que aqua este un derecho pero mas que un billón de personas no lo tienen acceso. Voy a trabajar en el proyecto de filtración del agua. Me gusta mucho ir a aventuras y explorar lugares nuevos. Estoy emocionada para ir a Guatemala y encontrarse ustedes!

Ashley Beschell
Civil Engineering
Age: 20
My family currently lives in San Diego, California, where we enjoy the warm weather and sun year round, quite opposite from where I grew up in Canada. I am in my 3 year of engineering at Cal Poly and I’m really looking forward to working in Guatemala, I am primarily interested in the insulation and solar water projects. Can’t wait to get down there to meet everyone!

Name: Katie Eng
Age: 19

I was born and raised in Southern California, and am now a second year Statistics major. I am very excited to be coming to Guatemala to collaborate and develop appropriate technology, especially in the water sanitation project. To me, making easy access to clean water for everyone is of paramount importance. I hope I can make a big impact by helping to develop new, innovative, and effective WatSan technologies.

Wendy.jpg o
Hola, mi nombre es Wendy Velásquez, tengo 19 años de edad.
Estudio el Segundo año en Ingenieria Ambiental, vivo en San Marcos Guatemala.
Trabajo en el proyecto de Construcción “Mejoramiento de Casas” (Hogar dulce Hogar).
Me gusta mucho caminar! y tener nuevas experiencias en mi aprendizaje.

Hola soy Miguel Perez
Estoy en el proyecto de Energia Solar

Estudio el ultimo año de la carrera de Administracion de Negocios
Vivo en San Pablo, Tacana San Marcos Guatemala
Me gustan las aventuras con mucha adrenalina
Estoy emocionado con el proyecto y listo para junio!!!!!

Hola amigos soy Jerson Velàsquez,
mi correo es y mi proyecto es refrigeración.
Resido en la comunidad de San Pablo.
Me gusta: cantar, tocar guitarra, actuar y filmar.

Soy Osmán Antonio Pérez Roblero.
Mi correo es
Estoy en el proyecto de Microhidroelectrica (luz de agua).

Soy de San Pablo, Tacaná, San Marcos, Guatemala. Estoy interesado por aprender muchas cosas como el idioma inglés y otras y también relacionarme bien con las personas de Cal Poly y de Guateca.

Mi nombre es Alvaro Alonzo Velásquez Santizo.
Soy de San Pablo, mi dirección electrónica es, me encanta estar involocrado en este proyecto, estoy en el grupo de Mejoramiento de Casas. Acerca de mi… soy algo extrovertido, me gustan mucho las aventuras, soy muy aficionado a la música (todo lo que este dentro de la linea del Rock) y todo lo que tenga que ver con el arte.

Que onda banda soy Henry Perez
Mi correo electronico es:
Estoy en el proyecto de ENERGIA SOLAR (Sol Power)
Estudio negocios y me encanta mucho las aventuras, juego fut bol soccer y quiero construir una casa en un arbol, seria lo maximo….
tengo un perro que se llama makiver y unos cuantos CDS de Rock….


Brian Croshal
22 Years
Mechanical Engineering

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and plan to settle down there some day. My main education at Cal Poly has been in the energy use of buildings, with an emphasis on low energy designs and passive systems. I am super intrigued by technology imitating nature and believe that conservation and the adoption of renewable energy is the only logical choice if we as humans are planning on surviving the next couple centuries. I like going on hikes with my acoustic guitar and throwing potlucks where everyone brings a dish and there’s always leftovers. I have some experience with speaking Spanish and want to take this opportunity to further my conversation and technical fluency. And my soccer skills.



Soy Avilio Romeo José Velásquez González, (mas conocido como “CHEPE”), soy integrante del grupo de COCINA, “group fire”,
me gusta escribir poesia y relatos reales o ficticios, viajar, conocer amigos, compartir y trabajar por el vienestar de todos,,,, en mi carrera profesional, estoy en el ultimo año de la licenciatura en informatica y adminstración, trabajo para una agencia de seguridadad, vivo en San Marcos Guatemala, nací en San Pablo, estoy listo para comenzar las clases en julio, conocer la tecnología del Cal Poly, nuestra mision como grupo es brindar desarrollo sostenible a las familias guatemaltecas de forma eficaz y eficiente…. a… me gusta la diversion, las aventuras y el conocimiento comparatido…

Name: Rachel Hines
Age: 23

My involvement in Guateca is to teach English to the students in San Pablo. I graduated form Cal Poly in Winter 2011 form the Modern Languages and Literature department with a minor in English Linguistics and a TESL Certificate. Here in San Pablo I teach English to all of the students in the Institute as well as the Guateca students at night. Living here in San Pablo has been an extraordinary experience and I feel very much at home in this community. Good luck to you all this summer!

Name: Cameron Zeller (working on adding a picture)
Age: 19

I’m a second year civil engineering student at Cal Poly and I’m from Napa, CA. I’m very interested in the solar water heating and greenhouse projects but am looking forward to learning about all of the projects. I can’t wait to get to Guatemala, live in San Pablo, and get to know the community.

Name: Cristina Morales Pérez
hola soy Cristina Elizabeth Morales Perez Estudio en tercero basico y pertenesco al grupo de estudiantes de Guateca y espero conocerlos pronto mi proyecto es energia solar.

Name: Ilsy Roblero

Name: Yeny
Hola mi nombre es Yeny Yaneth Barrera Bravo, soy estudiante de Guateca y me siento muy orgullosa de pertenecer al grupo de Agricultura Organica. Estudio tercero basico en San Pablo Tacana San Marcos y espero compartir con los chicos y chicas de Guateca. Happy Day.

Name: Gilbar Morales Velásquez
Project: Refrigeration

IMG_0228.JPGHello, I am Macedonio Pérez, My team is Nutrition, and I am a student of Business, my e-mail is: Greetings!!

Hello, My name is Daymler Ender, My proyect is Micro-Hydro. My e-mail es, I like to play guitar and listen to music.

Hi, I am Rury Velásquez, my team is Sanitation and I like play soccer and listen to music rock, My E-mail is

hello,my name is Gelmy Nineth Roblero Lòpez, my project is Organic Agriculture, I like listen to music and sing , my e-mail is, happy day.


Jamie Cignetti
Age: 22
I graduated from Cal Poly in June 2011 with a degree in International Business Management. I have been involved with Guateca, Pete, and San Pablo since December 2010. I will help facilitate the program in San Pablo from July 1st to August 5th. I look forward to being part of this amazing experience!