Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I'm a senior at a Colorado high school and have been given the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and help build a home through a Guatemalan non-profit organization called Constru Casa.
As you may know, Guatemala is the second poorest country in Latin America with 36% of the population living in poverty (earning less than $2/person/day) and 15% of those living in extreme poverty (earning less than $1/person/day).In Guatemala, it is common that families live in inadequate housing; many times it is a single room made entirely from lamina and earth floors. We will be building a house from a bare piece of ground that will be transformed into a home, using nothing but shovels, wheelbarrows and trowels. We will work alongside a local mason and various family members to dig trenches, haul sand, rock and cinder blocks, mix and pour concrete.
Constru Casa, based in Antigua, was founded by a Dutch civil engineer in 2004. Since that time, they have built nearly 600 homes in various locations throughout the country. They partner with local and international social welfare organizations to identify families most in need. A typical home consists of a single room built of dried corn stalk walls, dirt floors and a tin roof. Constru Casa homes consist of three rooms and a bathroom with toilet and shower. They're made of concrete blocks, with a concrete floor and tin roof. Constru Casa purchases all building materials locally and employs local masons/laborers. An entire house costs $4000 and takes approximately two weeks to complete. The family must repay 25% of the costs, in monthly installments, over a four year period. Constru Casa also provides post-construction support to families with regard to health care, education and home maintenance.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala with a group of my classmates in March 2014. We are committed to spending our spring break helping to build a new home for a family in need. My hope is that we will return to Colorado with the understanding that we can take a week out of our lives, and with our own two hands, that we can make a tremendous difference in someone's else's life. As a group, we need to raise $4,000 to cover construction costs, in addition to $1,200/person for airfare, lodging and transportation. We're working hard at meeting our fundraising goals and need your help.
- Liza & TJ
- Nikki Leonard
- Sarah Vasquez-Curtis