On July 15th four VERTEX employees, Craig Buhowski (MA), Daniela Veloz (MX), Lauren Deming (FL) and Quinn Lancaster (NC) said goodbye to the comforts of home and headed to Chiapas, Mexico to embark on a nine-day journey, after being selected by the Charitable Giving Committee through a blind application process. The team stayed in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, one of Mexico’s best preserved Spanish colonial towns; 76% of the indigenous people there live in poverty. They spent over a week helping a family in need by building decent, sturdy homes using cement blocks. More than half of the Mexican population currently does not have economic means for buying or constructing adequate housing.
561,294 households are in overcrowding conditions (two or more families living in the same place).
1,140,839 houses are built with walls of recycled material (cardboard, plastic).
7,255,082 houses are built with walls and roofs made of sheet metal or adobe.
35% of Mexican households report quantitative and qualitative deficits in living conditions. (BID 2014).
Why We Volunteered for this Opportunity:
Habitat for Humanity Mexico works to socially and financially support low income families, providing training and support through non-profit credits for the purchase of building materials and technical assistance for building. They use a system that allows families to become owners of their house by paying affordable monthly down payments, thus empowering them as individuals capable of achieving their own well-being and that of their communities. Habitat’s mission is to contribute to the recognition of housing as a fundamental human right by promoting housing solutions (actions) that allow low income families access to adequate housing so that they can improve their quality of life, achieving an improvement of such aspects of life as health, safety, wealth and access to basic utilities through our programs, thus driving a better quality of life and promoting the sustainable development of organized communities.