Nicaragua: The Work

June 8th

A Nicaraguan home for 5

This is what a home looks like after we’ve finished a roof. These homes cost our organization $3,000 each — much more now that gas prices have risen. Many of the materials are transported from the capital. To qualify for one of these homes, the family must have 5 or more people, be willing to work a set number of hours on the house and other homes in the community, place the title in the woman’s name (to prevent the home from being sold by the husband) and they must make a small financial contribution. Keeping this house in mind, we helped put a tile roof on a home just down the hill.

Tiles, pre-paint.

The tiles, pre-painting.


The roofing, pre-tiles. Our volunteer welder puts up the rebar that will hold each of the tiles.

Volunteers painting tile

Our volunteers painting the tiles (gasoline, just out of the photo.)

Juan, working on his roof

Juan, the owner of this home. He and his wife will move out of his parent’s home next door once his home is completed.

Handing up the painted tiles, one by one

Handing the tiles up, one by one.

You wouldn’t guess that process would take several days, but my goodness work takes a long time in the humid heat. A few other work-shots:

Our volunteers at work

Digging ditches for a water project. This project runs PVC pipes from a central well to more than 60 homes. Each family pays $2 a month to help maintain the well pump. They also much put in a certain amount of time in the project, digging ditches and setting the lines.

The cutest helper by far

The cutest laborer, by far.


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17 Responses

  1. Wow, that’s a nice sturdy home there! Great pictures! Inspiring me now to volunteer to do some work like this, even if it’s tough.

  2. Looks like very hot and sweaty (but rewarding) work.
    It’s so incredibly humbling to look at pictures like these, of how so many people in this world live.

  3. Read all the posts….last to first!

    Looks like a great trip thus far and makes me appreciate every wonderful thing I have in my house in the US!

  4. Whoa! My arms are tired just looking at pics.

  5. I’m really enjoying your Nicaragua posts! Are you working with Rainbow Network? My church is very active in supporting that organization. I’d love to go on a work trip there sometime.

  6. Great work, Kel! We certainly are blessed, aren’t we?

  7. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing these pictures. What a window into other peoples’ lives.

  8. Wow! You and the organization you work for do some amazing stuff. How did you get to become the godmother of a wee one there?

  9. Great work.

    Why do the tiles need to be painted? Are the bricks made locally or transported in? What are those smaller square buildings with stairs (in your top picture, to the left of the house)? How do you decide who gets the next house?

  10. Looks like your team did some great work – the dental tools made me say, ‘yikes!’ too. Your pictures, and the work you do, reminds me of the time I spent in El Salvador with Habitat For Humanity. I would go back in a heartbeat – some of the hardest, and most rewarding, work of my life.
    Enjoy your travels!

  11. Ditto to the other Jennifer’s question—I’m so curious about the painting of the tiles. Details, please!

  12. wow, this is wonderful. i wish we could get it this organized to help the village in brazil. great work!!

  13. Rebeca June 19, 2008

    Id like to thank everyone who puts together this work that you do for the Nicaraguan people. Id also like to know how we can volunteer.

  14. I found these old posts while searching the internet for gardening tips. We’re starting a community garden here and aren’t sure what produce we can grow. I started browsing, and then saw the picture of the houses. Would you believe we saw them on our jaunt up to the northern cities??? I remember seeing them and thinking how well built they are. Especially because of the brick, it isn’t commonly used in Granada. They were unusual enough to stand out because of the construction. It’s so crazy that I unintentionally saw work you have done in Jinotega!