16 May 2002

Habitat for Humanity

Up at 5:30. I was the last to shower today.

I’m not feeling too lively today…digestive disturbances…and didn’t do yoga or eat breakfast.
Giovani washed Bob’s truck…it needed it after the dusty roads to San Felipe…and drove us to San Salvador. We stopped a couple places enroute to get mangos and melon.

Checked into the International Hotel and Alvaro met us for lunch. It was so good to see him again!

He joined us for our visits to Habitat for Humanity and the handicapped computer place.
At Habitat we met with Alfredo Castro. They have projects in 8 departments (states). There are regional committees who select the families that get the houses. It’s a 6-month process to select them and they generally try to do about 10 homes at a time in any given community to cut down on materials and effort. The selected families come to the office in San Salvador for orientation. The family must own the land and have some regular income. Construction is concrete block although it is being modified now to be more earthquake resistant. The whole community is involved in the building.

Delegations that work on the houses get ½ built units to finish. The projects are always new construction for dwellings…never refurbishing existing structures or building community buildings. The family pays $20 to Habitat in a sort of “loan”. Habitat started in El Sal in 1992. This June, they will build their 2,000th house. It costs $3,500 for a house with an outhouse, doors, windows, etc. The minimum age for Habitat workers is 15 (with guardian) or 18 (without).