Help to Build Homes in Ecuador

The amazing thing about Ecuador is that despite over 90% literacy there is a high degree of unemployment and underemployment. Families often have no regular or adequate source of income which prevents them from procuring any sort of credit facility from banks and other financial institutions. There is an acute shortage of proper housing as the poor cannot afford to buy or rent regular homes.

Natural calamities like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods add to the uncertainties of life and the destruction of whatever homes they may have. Local NGOs have often helped build temporary bamboo shelters which end up as homes for life. A large chunk of the population lives in shanty homes and temporary dwellings which have become their permanent homes.

Several voluntary international organizations, including Habitat for Humanity have made building homes their priority project in Ecuador. These brick houses are built in co-operation with local NGOs and the beneficiaries are involved in the project too. The locals are trained in the skill of building houses out of bricks and mortar. The projects have international volunteers who look upon this as a unique opportunity to help others and learn about he community.

A trip to Ecuador can combine sight seeing, adventure travel and community service. Even a three week trip can include five days as a volunteer with an organization like Habitat. No experience in house building is required to do so. Join a team and learn the job hands on!

Each house building team is led by a brick master who guides the others and supervises the construction. Locally made bricks are used which are inexpensive and help the local economy. They are first soaked in water and then laid in perfect alignment to build walls. Volunteers help with digging, mixing concrete, carrying and laying bricks – under the eagle eye of the maestro or expert team leader.

Even five days in a voluntary program is an unforgettable experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to interact with locals and make their world a better place. Do your bit and then carry on with the rest of your holiday to experience the amazing beauty of the Amazon.