Help Build a House for 12 of Honduras's Poorest Families
A project by John Somerville
**Update** Our first house has been fully raised, with an offline donation in honor of William and Margie Farmer. This first house will go to Reyna and her family. Learn more about her by going to (https://www.facebook.com/Caminohonduras).
Our goal is to build 12 small (but strong) houses for some of Honduras's poorest families. We have already built one family a home based on our intended design to ensure that we can build each one for the amount intended. For just $1000 we can build a family a better house than they have ever had. We have selected the 12 families that we hope to be able to help. As each house is funded we will release pictures and video of the recipients of the new house. We do not do this before hand, because we do want to give these families any false hopes. By providing these families a new house, you will give them a safe place to live, but you will also give them a new outlook on their lives. The family in the video were the recipients of the first house we built and they could not be more excited and proud of their new house. It has been a blessing to work with them to build their new home, just like I pray we are able to do for 12 more families. Please read on to better understand the situation of the families that we work with.
In Honduras, thousands of families live in structures that can barely be defined as a house. Due to extreme poverty in the region many families cannot afford to even rent an apartment.Instead they must look for unused, unwanted or even unsafe land to build a small shack of whatever materials they can afford to purchase ot that they find discarded. These houses are often made of old rusty roofing sheets, pieces of scrap wood, old shipping crates, plastic tarps or even cardboard if nothing else can be found. These houses are extremely unstable due to the poor quality of building materials, a lack of uniformity in the materials used, and the fact that many of the houses are built little by little as families slowly purchase or find materials to add on to their houses.
To make matters worse, these families do not own the land that they live on. it is common to hear of entire communities of 80 or even 100 families being kicked off of a plot of land after years of living there. For this reason, such families are always looking for land that they think no one will ever want. This means that families build homes in the city dumps, next to rivers (that frequently overflow their banks), on the thin strips of land that border the nation's highways, and unfortunately in swamps and floodplains.
Every fall, cold air from the north mixes with the warm tropical air to produce weekly rainstorms. After weeks of rain, the rivers overflow their banks and the floodplains fill with water. This sends thousands of Honduras's poorest families fleeing for their lives. 2017 proved to be one of the worst years of flooding in the past decade. Between October and November, dozens and dozens of adults and children have died in flooding. Almost all of them have been families living alongside the rivers and in the floodplains.
With this fundraiser, there are some communities that we cannot help. Their homes are either in areas that we feel are too dangerous and should not be lived in, or the land that the families have built on is currently in a legal dispute. It is the nature of these communities that they could easily be kicked off their land at any time, since they have not title to their land. For this reason we build wooden houses, with metal roofs that can easily be taken apart and moved if the families are ever forced to move. The only thing they cannot take with them is the cement floor, though I have seen families break up their floor and even take that with them to a new house site.
During this holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) please consider helping 12 families receive the gift of a new house in 2018. We will be posting regular updates to this campaign on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Caminohonduras). While the donations on this page are not tax deductible, you can also donate on our website (http://www.elcaminoretreatcenter.org/donations/) so that you can receive paperwork for deductions from your taxes.