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Habitat for Humanity

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Post by otrocanuck Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:42 pm

Does anyone know if there is a local chapter for HfH , or a similar organization that provides volunteer labor for housing needs of the less fortunate in the Lake Chapala area?
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Post by Zedinmexico Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:58 am

My wife was a grant writer for Habitat NOB. She says folks come down and build a house or so but does not know of a local organization. Sounds to me like a great thing to start although not sure the gringoes have the skills to build rock/brick/cement houses.

Z

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Post by gringomojado Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:26 am

Zedinmexico wrote:My wife was a grant writer for Habitat NOB.  She says folks come down and build a house or so but does not know of a local organization.    Sounds to me like a great thing to start although not sure the gringoes have the skills to build rock/brick/cement houses.

Z

Yes, gringos can only build stick huts!

gm
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Post by hockables Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:51 am

When I hired Mistro to build the pool.... I couldn't help but think how it would go over in Canada..

**********************************************************************************************

Mistro enters Canada Manpower ..." Come on men... grab your shovels and the wheelbarrow....we're gonna dig a pool!!"



ShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShocked


I don't think so!!
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Post by CanuckBob Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:02 am

Jaja.......no in Canada they would have brought a backhoe and had the hole dug in 6 hours.
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Post by otrocanuck Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:25 am

I spent time working on a housing project with HfH in Guatemala. Although HfH is well known for their good work - they could do some things better. The process of building a simple house is very educational, something they seem to miss out on providing to the local community. The process if handled correctly can teach many skills needed in life - not just construction oriented ones. I spent many years teaching high school children an introduction to construction trades and woodworking, north of the borders and have seen that a project like this can help many people. From teaching math skills, how to safely work with materials and tools, to how to work with others, to providing needed housing at a reasonable price. It can be a very valuable means of achieving not only inexpensive housing but more so as a tool to teach many skills.
I would be interested in talking to others who might see merit in starting something like this in the area.
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Post by gringal Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:36 am

There is a group in the Lake Chapala area called "Have Hammers, Will Travel" which teaches some carpentry and construction skills to local youth.
I don't know if it goes as far as building complete houses, but they are good guys volunteering to work with the kids.

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Post by viajero Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:28 am

hockables wrote:When I hired Mistro to build the pool.... I couldn't help but think how it would go over in Canada..

**********************************************************************************************

Mistro enters Canada Manpower ..." Come on men... grab your shovels and the wheelbarrow....we're gonna dig a pool!!"



ShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShockedShocked


I don't think so!!
Can't blame them,hand digging in the permafrost sucks.


Last edited by viajero on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RVGRINGO Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:39 am

Houses built of wood? No way! They just do not last very long in the tropics. We saw only one, when we moved to Lakeside in 2001; the termites ate it rather completely, rendering it usless.
Besides, lumber is not plentiful in Mexico and what there is, is very expensive imported stuff.

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Post by CanuckBob Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:42 am

I thought the same thing however there are lots of wooden houses in places like Mazamitla and throughout the Lake Patzcuaro area. I have a friend from Acapulco and he said there are a lot of wooden houses in that area too.
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Post by RVGRINGO Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:49 am

True, but it is much cooler in some of those places, especially in the winter. They also have forests in some mountain areas and fewer termites. Trojes are rather disposable too.
Still not a good idea at Lakeside.

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Post by gringomojado Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:11 pm

otrocanuck wrote:I spent time working on a housing project with HfH in Guatemala. Although HfH is well known for their good work - they could do some things better. The process of building a simple house is very educational, something they seem to miss out on providing to the local community. The process if handled correctly can teach many skills needed in life - not just construction oriented ones. I spent many years teaching high school children an introduction to construction trades and woodworking, north of the borders and have seen that a project like this can help many people. From teaching math skills, how to safely work with materials and tools, to how to work with others, to providing needed housing at a reasonable price. It can be a very valuable means of achieving not only inexpensive housing but more so as a tool to teach many skills.
I would be interested in talking to others who might see merit in starting something like this in the area.

Back in the 60's many "colonias" or housing projects were built in the capital of Guatemala. They were of reinforced block construction, and "Duralita" roof. They had running water and electricity. The families that wanted a house in the "colonia" had to provide the labor and titled " engineers" supervised. The US government provided much of the funds. At the end of construction the papers to the houses were provided on a lottery basis, so you never knew which house would be your's,so equal care would be given to all houses built. The houses were what we might call duplex, and all had a small "patio" front and back.
They were well made and survived earthquakes, including 1976

I have friends that worked HH there since. They do good work!. These are mostly in "el campo"

gm
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Post by viajero Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:25 pm

There's a colonia in Tijuana named Jimmy Carter because of the more than one hundred homes Habitat for Humanity built there.


Last edited by viajero on Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:34 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by CanuckBob Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:25 pm

RVGRINGO wrote:True, but it is much cooler in some of those places, especially in the winter.  They also have forests in some mountain areas and fewer termites. Trojes are rather disposable too.  
Still not a good idea at Lakeside.

Interestingly, my roof here in Ajijic is called "Micheocon style" and is made entirely of wood. Huge wooden beams and overlapping wood slats in between. Clay tiles on top of it all. This was built in the late 60's and nary a termite yet. Not sure what type of wood it is.



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Post by brigitte Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:08 pm

I am not sure there is less termites in cooler areas, you also have to watch out for pulilla the larvae from some moth that can destroy wood as well. In Chiapas in the highalands all the houses have wood beams and wood ceilings as well as wood doors, windows and shutters. The pulilla there is terrible and it is a constant fight. Termites usually come up through wood earth contact but the pulilla can come up anywhere and you can protect your house all you want , if our neighbors do not you get it anyways.

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Post by otrocanuck Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:19 pm

Not sure who mentioned building with wood but that would be a mistake here. In Guatemala the construction was entirely cement and it was in the earthquake zone so the cinder blocks were of a special shape to house runs of re-bar at the base, mid way up the walls, and at the top of the walls.
If interested in forming a group to look into this please PM me.
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Post by CHILLIN Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:22 pm

Don't forget that in Mexico that there is Infonavit which provides low cost mortgages and affordable housing for those working "on the books". I believe employers are obliged to pay a small amount towards this fund. The Infonavit projects are often those four plex homes, covering large neighborhoods. They are not limited to this design, however, and there are some very creative engineers and builders, which have Mexico in the forefront of affordable housing. Most other countries are building multi-story apartments - but these are a minority in Mexico.

http://www.worldfinance.com/banking/infonavits-mortgages-pave-way-for-mexicos-sustainable-future

The Harts, when they lived in Mexico built some green and lowcost demonstration homes. He would be a good contact for you. He also heads a ferrocement construction forum.
http://www.hartworks.com/kelly_hart_websites.htm
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Post by riogrande888 Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:05 pm

I would also be interested in a group should one be formed in the area. I am just moving to Chapala, but would be happy to work with others to explore the options. I know San Miguel has a successful group, not Habit for Humanity, that does similar sort of work for low cost for people in need in the campo. I think the average cost per house is 10k- 15k and the people in the village are involved and taught skills as well.

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Post by CHILLIN Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:23 pm

Steve Kornher in San Miguel Allende has been making low cost "sculpted" homes for many, many years. Mexico, in general, is more open to these thin shell structures, which use engineered curves for strength, because of the pioneering work of a Spanish Architect, Felix Candela, who has many structures in Mexico.

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