Conclusion of El Jícaro Concrete Floors in Homes Project – Guatemala
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Lauren Truxillo. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to construct concrete floors in up to 64 homes.
Lauren reports on the project, which was concluded earlier this year:
The first family in El Jícaro constructed their floor on March 18, 2011 and the final floor was finished on April 30, 2011. There are now 53 nice, smooth cement floors where before there was dirt, dust, and mud (52 floors in homes plus one floor in the community church kitchen).
Each family was responsible for carrying their materials from the main road to their homes, often in feed sacks on their backs, supported with a head strap. Additionally, the families hired their own masons (often neighbors and project beneficiaries themselves) to build the floors.
Project funds were used exclusively to purchase cement, gravel, sand, and paint for the floors. The project was inaugurated on May 24, 2011 with a thanksgiving mass in the community church where the community expressed their gratitude for the project.
In the workshops, the health promoters stressed to project beneficiaries that a floor alone will not do much to improve family health if the families do not eat well, bathe regularly, drink safe water, or wash their hands often. The floors are built, and that is definitely a change. But I also hope that the participants, by putting everything they have learned in practice, will have healthier, more productive lives that enable them to leave the cycle of poverty.
I hope the health promoters will continue to promote health. But at the very least, the living conditions have improved for 52 families who will live with a little more dignity than before.
At this time, I would like to extend my thanks to Water Charity for supporting the El Jícaro Floors Project.