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Last week I started writing about the bridge we are helping to build in the city of El Mongual. I’m a bit behind on these postings, as they’ve been working on this bridge since mid-December. Allen and Russell are working there today, in fact.

In this post, I’ll be showing you pictures of the second beam being poured. I think it’s kind of interesting to see how this work is done without the help of any machines.

Here’s the empty form, into which the concrete will be poured. The form is 43′ long.

Here you can see down the form from the top. There is a framework of rebar inside, and much more rebar will be added as the process continues.

More long pieces of rebar are added to the form.

Here comes some more heavy rebar.

Rebar is threaded into place from the open end.

While the rebar is being pushed into place, four teams of men are mixing concrete. The concrete is poured into the form, starting at the closed end.

The level of concrete is rising at the one end.

Russell is working with the trowel, smoothing the top of the concrete as the work progresses.

A look from above, which might give some idea of how much rebar is packed inside this concrete beam!

Here’s how all the wet concrete gets into the beam.

And more, and more, and more buckets of concrete.

The guys keep smoothing the top, as the form fills with concrete.

When the entire beam is poured and smoothed, the empty paper sacks which previously held concrete are put on top, to protect the beam from drying out too quickly.

Men in the community continue to pour water on the paper sacks for several days, as the beam dries slowly from the inside.

With the big beams finished, the workers turned to pouring the concrete walls which will hold up the beams at each end. You can look forward to those pictures sometime in the near future.