Building Foundations In Honduras

Kevin Campbell | May 31, 2011

Last week, Habitat Wake staff member Pam Forsythe visited our friends in Honduras for a Global Build.

 
Our group with Nuri, Max, and Jose, our local guides.
 
Last week we built a foundation and a new beginning for Gloria and her two small children.

A group organized and led by Chatham County Habitat worked with Gloria and her father, Jorge, to complete the first phase of her new 450 square foot home in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras.  We sledgehammered large rocks into smaller ones, and formed a human chain “rock brigade” to get them up the hill and into the foundation trenches. We mixed cement in piles on the ground and transferred it one bucket at a time into the trenches to support the rock.  We built rebar cages by cutting and bending hundreds of pieces of quarter inch metal into rectangles and wiring them to the rebar.  By the fifth day, the foundation was complete.

Mixing cement

Building rebar cages

Pouring the top layer of foundation

 

So many other foundations were begun; foundations of friendship, joy, and understanding. Gloria’s new home is being built on a small, steep street with four other homes.  These residents welcomed us cheerfully, greeting us daily with smiles.  Their children spent time with us reading, coloring, and playing tic- tac- toe and hang man.  We spent hours exchanging Spanish and English words, and learned that they wanted to be doctors, masons, and teachers.  We saw joy in their faces as they did their daily chores.  We came to understand and appreciate their simple way of life.

Ever, Karin, Carolina, Yoli, and Sesia

Sesia & Ever’s home, across the street from our build

One evening, we read stories, played volleyball, and danced with girls in the city orphanage.  On another, we visited a two-man cigar company.  After the owner demonstrated his craft, his young daughter showed us around their very busy property filled with chickens, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, a rope swing, and a mini soccer field.  The pride in their business and way of life was evident. After work on Thursday, we visited a Habitat neighborhood of 53 homes, established by our neighbor Habitat affiliate in Durham, NC.  This is an unusual sight in Honduras.  Customarily, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to purchase land before contacting Habitat for help with building his or her home.  This is not as easy task.  Our hope is to join forces with other Habitat affiliates in the Triangle area to purchase tracts of land and to establish more Habitat neighborhoods in the Copan region of Honduras.  Stay tuned for more information about future travel opportunities to work with us in Honduras, and build upon the solid foundation established by our friends at Durham Habitat.

Annuel, son of Habitat homeowner

Habitat home, Shimishal neighborhood of Santa Rosa

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Kevin Campbell

President/CEO

Kevin Campbell, President/CEO of Habitat Wake, is a recognized leader in service to the goal of affordable homeownership in Wake County and around the world.  His unwavering professional commitment to Habitat for Humanity and its vision – a world where everyone has a decent place to live - goes back nearly 30 years. Follow him on twitter at @kevinhabitat.