International Service Project - Panama

A relationship that began in 1991…
A relationship that began in 1991…

In 1991, Chris McCartin, a new civil engineering graduate, moved to the Bayano region of Panama for 18 month to help build a water-supply system for a Catholic missionary priest he had never met.

So began Villanova Engineering’s relationship with Father Wally "Padre Pablo" Kasuboski and his Cheypo Bayano Mission. Twenty-five years later, 15,000 local residents have access to fresh, potable water year round thanks to the efforts of more than 100 Villanova engineering students and faculty. Other projects have included building chapels, schools and roads.

Today, much of Villanova’s work in this Panama region involves:

  • Development of a sustainable water resources master plan, including dams and reservoirs
  • Vado culvert bridge design
  • Primary school design

To provide additional support for the needs of these communities, Villanova engineering teams have established relationships with a number of organizations in Panama, including two engineering schools, one architectural school and the City of Knowledge non-profit organization.

…Continues today.
…Continues today.

To Apply

Deadlines and an application form for fall and spring break trips can be found here. At the current time, summer and winter service trips to Panama are being conducted on an invitation-only basis and are reserved students who need to travel for project specific purposes.

Learn More

For more information or to help support international service projects, contact Director Jordan Ermilio at or 610-519-6859. You can also make a donation through the University website, designating your gift to “Engineering Service Learning.”