Bienvenido a Casa!

What a whirlwind!  It’s been two weeks already since I returned from a fabulous volunteer trip with Habitat for Humanity‘s Global Village program in Nicaragua.  In the course of just 5 days, 14 volunteers joined together to build a home for Gloria and Freddie – and had a little fun along the way. 🙂

After meeting in Managua, we traveled about 1.5 hours southwest of the capital to the municipality of San Rafael del Sur, where we would spend the next week working on our project.  After settling in at a fabulous hotel on the Pacific coast, we geared up for our first day of work.

Upon arrival, we met our the homeowner Gloria and had a chance to learn more about her current living conditions.  She is currently unable to work due to a medical condition and her husband, Freddie, works as a night security guard at the chicken processing plant for a national fast food chain.  Their daughter lives with them in the community of San Ceyatano but was visiting her grandmother during the week we were working.

Their current home consists of a small metal shack.  Within one room (separated by curtains), all three family members sleep, eat and relax.  The roof has many leaks and the walls are not secure.

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As we started out, there were all of the usual Habitat tasks…

Moving blocks:

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Sifting sand and moving rock:

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Mixing mortar and concrete (again and again and again):

10 11Cutting and tying rebar to reinforce the house:

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Pouring the foundation:

14And laying block after block after block:

1516We were constantly running out of water so it was delivery after delivery to unload:

17And don’t forget about the preparation of the floor…

18But despite all of the hard work, there was always time to jump rope or color with the kids:

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To take lots and lots of photos or to find a quiet moment:

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Or to mess around in the wheelbarrow (I’m coming for YOU! 🙂

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How does all of this come together to build a house?  Check out my lo-tech timelapse for a condensed view of our five days of hard work. 🙂

At the end of the week, the most important goal was met:  a new  home for Gloria, Freddie and their daughter.  The doors, windows and roof would be installed by the masons within a few days of our departure and the family should move in within 3 weeks!  We had a ceremony to bless the house:

26Then Gloria cut the ribbon!

25Such smiles, that’s the best part about the whole week. 🙂
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Good job team!

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