Nuevo Cuscatlán, El Salvador (May 2022)

The team had an amazing week in El Salvador working with the Fuller Center for Housing and People Helping People in this community of 130 homes. In addition to our team of 25 volunteers, we worked with 6 staff members, 6 volunteer translators, multiple future homeowners, approximately 35 local skilled workers and a crew of ~70 inmates participating in El Salvador Plan Cero Ocio (work release/rehabilitation). We accomplished a lot and had some fun along the way!

El Salvador, is the smallest Central American country yet with a popluation of 6,090,646 ( est.), it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.  Approximately 700,000 Salvadorans are in need of decent, adequate housing. An estimated 30.7% of the population lives below the poverty line and over 40% of the rural population lives in homes with dirt floors and impermanent wall materials. Within the last few years, the local goverment has been instrumental in helping families obtain full ownership and title to the land where they reside. However, many Salvadoran families continue to struggle to survive while living in dilapidated housing subject to natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides and earthquakes.

The Fuller Center has been building in El Salvador since 2008 and has completed over 350 homes in communities throughout the country.  Our specific project took place in the community of Nuevo Cuscatlán, just outside San Salvador.  We assisted partner families as they built two-story homes of about 600 square feet with 3-4 small bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and an indoor shower with flush toilet. Homes are made of blocks with simple metal roofs. The partner families will repay the cost of building the homes using no-profit, no-interest loans over a 12 year, 7 month period.  A decent home has been shown to improve numerous health measures, educational outcomes, and a family’s overall well-being.  

About the Global Builders Program

Global Builders is The Fuller Center for Housing’s short term volunteer program, sending teams on domestic and international home-building trips, where partner families help build the homes and then will repay the cost on a no-interest basis to help more local families. All trips are hosted by our trustworthy Fuller Center covenant partners around the world, who love having volunteers join them in serving God by partnering with the poor. 

For more information or to join a team, visit https://fullercenter.org/global-builders/.

About The Fuller Center for Housing

The Fuller Center for Housing, faith-driven and Christ-centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide. Their foundational principles include the beliefs that: We are part of a God movement, and movements don’t just stop. We have been called to this housing ministry; we didn’t just stumble into it. We are unashamedly Christian, and enthusiastically ecumenical. We aren’t a church but we are a servant of the Church. We are faith-driven, knowing that after we’ve done all we can do the Lord will help finish the job — something that requires us to stretch beyond our rational reach. We are a grass-roots ministry, recognizing that the real work happens on the ground in communities around the world through our covenant partners — so a large, overseeing bureaucracy isn’t needed. We try to follow the teachings of the Bible and believe that it says that we shouldn’t charge interest of the poor, so we don’t. Government has a role in our work in helping set the stage, but that we shouldn’t look to it as a means to fund the building of homes.

To learn more, visit https://fullercenter.org.

**Thanks to Gente Ayudando Gente for providing the team photo.

Exploring and learning while enjoying life and doing my part. Here, there and everywhere…