After the brief visit to San Marcos de Colon, we arrived at this year’s job site mid-morning on Sunday, February 5th to find piles of rock, stacks of concrete block, and several mounds of sand and gravel to be used to construct the new home for Dania, Mario, and their family in El Carazal.
We were greeted by the two youngest children, standing at the door of the house we were going to replace.
Trenches for the foundation of the new home had already been dug, along with post holes for the re-bar supports. Step one was to build the “footers” of the foundation with a mixture of large rocks and concrete.
In America, if we need something, we go to the local store and buy it. Not so in Honduras…if you need something, you use what you have, or what is laying nearby on the ground. For that reason, a local stone mason was hired to assist us this week for the sum of 300 lps each day, the equivalent of $15 US Dollars. We called him “El Hefe,” which can be translated as “boss.”
We also had the help of Evan, who is 13 and lives nearby. Evan has never attended school and works every day to help meet his family’s needs. Every morning and afternoon, he was seen carrying large bags of produce on his shoulders from the fields to a warehouse down the road.
Ann and Sharon spent the days teaching at school, which ends at 12:00 noon, allowing the older children to work in the fields. After school, they kept the children at the jobsite occupied learning new things.
After the “footers” were complete, the foundation began to rise from the ground.
We kept waiting all week for the cement truck to show up. It never did and all of the mortar was hand mixed. A shovel-ready job!
Need more sand or gravel? Just ask. The sand and gravel for this job came from a nearby streambed on property belonging to Margarite – who we met on last year’s electrical project in Jayacayan.
Ronnie Strickland, the “grand-daddy” of our Honduran involvement, stopped by to lend a hand also. When we leave, Ronnie will make certain the home gets totally completed. By now, it is obvious we will only be able to complete the necessary block work during our time there.
We had many visitors during the week. Leonardo, our friend from the Choluteca Rotary Club, was one of them. It was great to see him again!
We also had some other distinguished guests drop by. The batteries were dead on my camera so you will have to take my word for it. Our current Rotary District Governor, Dick Bowers, along with Past District Governors Jimmy Couch and Jim Johnston visited our jobsite and offered much needed encouragement! Because of their visit this year, we hope to see the return of larger Rotary projects in the future!
We also met Jonathan from Virginia, who has spent two years in Honduras teaching, and will be there another year. He jumped in and helped us the entire week.
Building a house using concrete block is very hard work. Thank goodness you have to stop and allow the mortar to dry every now and then!
By Thursday evening, ALL of the interior and exterior concrete block walls are in place!
Although we were not able to physically complete the entire home during our stay, we did leave Dania, Mario, and the family all of the materials they would need to finish their new home, and left enough money to pay Mr. “El Hefe” to assist in finishing the job.
Here are some more scenes from the job site:
In the next part, we managed to visit with many friends and returned to places we had visited on previous trips. Again, thanks for reading!
Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com. Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.