Project 2 – 2013

 

Goals Achievements
 To raise $60,000 in order to:  Raised $200,000
 Build ten new homes in Barrio Blanco  Built twenty new homes
 Built a new medical clinic

 

Project 2 will be limited to 10 homes.  Our pace will be much quicker, and I expect us to be completed in 4 1/2 months; close to 1/2 the time of Project 1.  We will accomplish this partly through some changes in the way we build to be more efficient, and now, because I have worked alongside these people, I’ve seen who is ready to go…and who wants to relax in the shade while others work.  Work will begin at 7:00 am and go at times till dark.  6 days.  Full Energy.  Everyone understands this difference and wants it.  During the construction process it puts recipient families under hardship.  They are each giving me their best worker, typically their breadwinner, and living in even worse conditions temporarily while we build.  It’s tough.  These people working on Project 2 will be our  “AAA” team, and all are strong workers.  All, with the exception of Pilo below, live in the worst dwellings you can imagine.  Mostly 1 room, 8′ by 10′, scraps of metal, wood or plastic, caving leaking roofs and dirt floors.  Their bathrooms are widely shared outhouses, shower outside under a hose.  The change we can make in these peoples’ lives is just incredible.

 

 

These are the families or individuals we hope to build homes for:

 

 

 

 Families to sponsor

 

 

1) (1/2 Sponsored) ChiChi

Chichi was our #1 foreman during Project 1.  His immediate family lives in Santiago but when he gets work it is in Cabarete.  His extended family of around 15 people live in Barrio Blanco.   He’s an all around good man, knowledgeable on all phases of construction, honest and reliable.  Chichi is 56 years old.

 

2) (Need sponsor) Tato

Tato is 26 years old, around 5’6″ and absolutely strong as an ox.  He works with a smile.  While most people carry 2 bags of cement in a wheelbarrow, Tato carries 4!  He lives in the most awful dwelling about 8 feet by 10 feet, and the roof in the middle sags down to 4 feet high.  He has had no skills for employment.  In Project 1 he told me he wanted to become a mason.  He was a great mason’s helper, and I’m hoping to develop this interest.  He is a single man who dreams of a family, but can’t support one.

 

3) (Need sponsor) Popo

Popo and Tato are best friends.  He has 2 children, and he told me his family couldn’t live together because his habitacion is too small.   It is.  He pays rent each month of $30.  Popo is 29 years old and is married to Angela Herrera.  Their children are Jorde, 5, and Angel, 4.  He is very strong and is valuable as a manual worker.  He also has potential to develop a specific skill.   One of our donors gave me a fishing pole and reel to bring to the barrio.  I added a few more reels, and it turns out that Popo and Tato love to go fishing together like two little boys.  As I was leaving from completing Project 1, the last people I saw were Popo and Tato walking along the street with their fishing poles.

 

4) (Need sponsor) Vicki

Vicki’s is a large family of 10, and they are located at the “end of the road” in Barrio Blanco.  Vicki, 39 has two sons, Francisco and Carlito.  Carlito has 4 children ranging down to 8 months old.  Vicki works at a local restaurant and Carlito for a wrought iron company when they have work.  Margo, my wife met Francisco while he was taking classes at the Dream School to learn English skills for employment.  Francisco is 24 and Carlito 29.  Both are strong and hard workers with a positive attitude.

 

5) (Need sponsor) Argenis

Argenis is married to Eba and they don’t yet have children.  They are both very nice to be around, and are genuine.  Argenis voluntarily was foreman for installing 1/3 of the home roofs during Project 1.  He is a woodworker, and behind his little shack he has a table saw.  He makes doors, frames and furniture on the dirt sheltered by a lean-to.  Argenis is 30, and Eba is 29.

 

6) (Sponsored) Pilo

I consider Pilo the “Father of the Barrio”.  He seems everything you’d hope for.  Sincere, honest, and willing to work hard for the benefit of the community.  He was lead foreman for the school’s masonry, and has 30 years experience in this field.  He’s a gentle man, and thoughtful.  He lives with his wife Olivia who is warm and loving.  Her hugs are so strong coming from “a little old lady”.   Their house is not “terrible” in the same way as the others but it has two serious problems.  The floor is lower than all surrounding area, so when it rains, it fills up like a swimming pool inside.  The other problem is that they have a septic tank, but it is just hole in the ground, and their wastewater simply leaches into the ground water-table.  When it rains, the barrio gets completely flooded.  On “the street”, and all through the barrio I’ve seen water one foot deep.  Inside Pilo’s home it is 2′.   What needs to be done for Pilo and Olivia is to demolish all their current home but leaving the footings and walls.  Then we need to install a proper septic system under the floor like the rest of our homes where we build 3′ high with block before installing our floor.  So, a new floor, raise the existing walls an additional 3′, and a new roof.  With this, they won’t have flooding inside their home, and won’t be spreading pollution to others.

 

7) (sponsored) Blanco

Is a true character.  The neighborhood was named after him because he was the first settler 24 years ago.  He’s mentally ill, and sometimes he’s in a great mood, sometimes he’s angry at the world.  He’s also in love with rum.  Blanco works like a maniac.  He is hard to work alongside sometimes because on occasions he’ll just start screaming at anyone within 10 feet.  Blanco is a digger.  He was my main worker for installing water lines, and he puts his fullest efforts out.  Blanco plants and maintains the flowers alongside the driveway that enters Barrio Blanco.  It’s his neighborhood after all.

 

8) (Need sponsor) Lucrecia

Lucrecia came to my notice 1/3 of the way into building Project 1.  Her family has 3 adults and one teenage boy.   She has a small business that I don’t understand clearly.  Lucrecia quietly had been paying for a worker in Project 1 “con espera” which means “with hope”.  Lucrecia paid for that worker every week for the remaining 5 months…in hope.  The hope is that I could find a donor to help her family.  They rent an awful and very small dwelling, and she is a very nice lady who keeps a clean house.

 

9) (need sponsor) Ludo Vico

I’ve only talked with Ludo Vico a few times.  He works everyday.  Ludo Vico lives in one of the worst homes in the barrio.  It is in the area we want to rebuild, and his brother owns the adjacent land that has the worst conditions in Barrio Blanco.  Sometimes it is impossible to get to his door without stepping in raw sewage.  We can remove all of the terrible shacks in one area along with Blanco’s adjacent property, and clean the area of future pollutants.  In place we can create a planned group of 6 or 7 homes…possibly with a central courtyard gathering spot.

 

10a) (need sponsor) Yunior  Saintlimon

I’m not sure if I’ve met Yunior in the past, but right now he is in Santo Domingo 3 hours away recovering from an operation putting a  pin in his leg.  His family includes his wife, Leanne Michell, with Vanessa, 14 years and Yulianna, 5 years old.  Andres was working at a Gold’s Gym until his accident.

 

10b) (need sponsor) Andres

ElHaude Saintlimon is married and has 2 children.  I’m getting more information for him, but right now he is working in Antigua and will be returning to Barrio Blanco in the spring along with his family.

 

We want to build a downstairs home for Yunior because of his injury, and an upstairs home for his brother Andres so that he can help his brother.

 

 

Creating Employment Opportunities

 

From the start I recognized 4 needs “To Help the People of Barrio Blanco” which is our goal.  One of  them is an honest way to make a living.

 

During the course of Project 2 we are hoping to open up new prospects for residents in Barrio Blanco.  To start, here are some directions…

 

–Amparo and Regina prepared meals for workers while we had money for this in Project 1.  The workers enjoyed their meals.  In Project 2, we intend to have them become “our restaurant” preparing breakfast and lunch 6 days a week for workers.  They will be paid approximately 150 pesos per person per day for 6 days per week.  Total cost…9,000 pesos, or $225 per week for these 120 meals.  Their requirement is that the workers enjoy their food and are full.  From this, they will pay all their expenses.  During Project 2, we hope to raise money to provide 1 nourishing meal daily for each of our school-children.  If we can, this will also be prepared by Amparo and Regina.  Regina says they can sell soup to residents too.  I’m hoping this will be the launch of their restaurant business.

 

–I’m hoping to make “Crazy Blanco” as he’s known the village garbageman.  He’s not generally employable, but we’ll try to help him launch his service business.  10 Pesos, or 30 cents per week, and Blanco will collect garbage from residents homes early Friday morning and wheelbarrow it to the garbage truck that comes each week.

 

–There is an opportunity suggested by a donor to get 1 or 2 metal detectors to mine the Cabarete tourist beach for lost jewelry and coins

 

–The Biggest prospect is to create a fishing industry among barrio residents.  Toward this direction I spent some time on the water with Domingo, a 30 year fisherman, to learn.  I learned much, but need to learn more.  This could provide work for several fisherman and residents to clean and sell the fish.  There is a good demand for these fish, and there are a lot of fish to be caught.  If this is a true opportunity, we will create a business plan and see if donors want to support this effort.