Rebuilding Barrio Blanco - 1 cinder block at a time.
We build homes after making two agreements with barrio families. Our exchange sounds like this: “You live in a terrible shack, right? What if someone bought all the materials needed for a new home and they dumped them in front of your shack. Could you live in it?" and they respond, "No, because it isn't a home." Then we follow with "We have a donor willing to buy all the materials, but we need the strongest worker from your family to join with others to build your homes. When we're done, the house is yours." This model has very been successful and the recipients work united with their community to build new homes.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DONORS
We share information about families in need with donors so they can get to know the community and who they are helping. Our agreement is that for a $10,000 donation (currently and foreseeably), we will build a new home for a family of the donors' choosing. The donation buys materials and pays laborers. For control, we buy all materials, pay all labor, and supervise construction from beginning to end on the ground. We provide photos during construction and the completed dwelling plastered, painted, and with the happy homeowners moving in.
WHO GETS THE HOUSES
The families who receive new homes were first chosen by the village leaders who prioritized families with the worst living conditions and small children. Through our closening relationship with the community, we’ve become aware of who has the highest level of need and we help them.
OUR BUILDING DESIGN IS UNIQUE AND IT WORKS
We pour a footing and then walls 3 feet high around the perimeter of the home. Within this enclosure we build a full septic system with two tanks, clean out plugs, and a leach field of river stones under the floor of each home. In addition to building a real bathroom and kitchen inside each home, the design elevates the floors resulting in no interior flooding.
So far, no septic pumping has been needed.