Couples Trip Recap
From April 14th to 18th, a group of 5 couples had a great week where we built homes for 2 very deserving families. The Hernandez Jarquin family which consists of six members that spans three generations lives in Mojon, a small farming community located a 30-‐minute drive from the city of Jinotega in Nicaragua. The family owns a small plot of land on which Santana farms beans and other crops for their own consumption. Santana is day worker in the community, working on farms whenever work is available. However, this type of work is very inconsistent and only pays C$ 150 in the local currency per day (that is, about $5 US per day). Cristina works in the coffee fields whenever the crop is in season, typically between October and February, to provide additional income for the family. Alba and Fatima re sisters who stay at home to do work around the house and care for their young children, Andrea (5 years old) and Karla (4 years old). Having a reliable shelter will provide much needed relief to a hard-‐working family that lacks access to the physical and financial resources necessary to build a foundationally solid house.
We knew we wanted to do a trip that was “experiential” and what better way to become immersed in a culture than to work side by side with local masons to create a new environment for a deserving family. We got that and way more. There is a spirit and a warmth in Nicaragua’s mountain communities that certainly touched my heart. These people deserve so much more … but at least two families have the shelter they need. One step at a time, we all have the ability to be the change. – Susan G.
The other house we built was for Maria and Maximo who also live in the community of Mojon. Maximo works for local farmers in the fields to produce an income whenever he is able, but this can be very difficult because he is sick with diabetes. It should also be noted that this couple does not own sufficient land to produce their own crops for sale or consumption. As a result, they find themselves with considerable financial struggles. The new house will provide them with greater warmth, security and comfort. Having a floor of tile instead of dirt will provide greater sanitation. Having solid, enclosed walls of cement will provide greater shelter from rain and cold weather. Both families have indoor kitchens which use firewood, and they are now able to separate their living spaces so as not to breathe in smoke throughout the day.
I feel very happy because of the new house that will be built. Our little house that we have right now is not very safe or secure during the winter. We often receive a lot of rain and everything gets wet. With our new house, we will have much greater security. We want to say thank you to Bridges to Community and to the volunteers who will be coming to help build our new house – Maria Alejandra Estrada