Raquel lives with her family in Urbanizaciones Unidas, a small neighborhood in Santa Cruz. Local Partner Lucerito works with ChildFund Bolivia in the area. Raquel is 20 and is studying Architecture in public University; she had the opportunity to participate in a singular house building experience last weekend. This is her story.
Urbanizaciones Unidas is one of the peri-urban neighborhoods located in Santa Cruz and has many needs such as public sanitation or proper road access. But one of the problems Raquel’s family faces is the lack of living space. She shares her house with other 10 family members. Her family was chosen to have a transitional house built by TECHO Bolivia and funded by ChildFund Germany. Other 14 families in the area benefited with the project too. “I live with my parents, my grandma, two little siblings and now my sister has two children and lives with her husband with us,” she tells us. “My sister Yesenia will live with her family in this new place.”
Saturday 26th was the first day to build the structure. A big truck arrived early in the morning to the neighborhood’s sport field carrying wood products. More than 50 volunteers from TECHO Bolivia were waiting along with community members. “Everybody helps,” tells Ciro, a TECHO Volunteer, “We want to build the houses in 2 days. Today we can finish the floor and maybe the walls, family members can help of course.” Urbanizaciones Unidas used to be a garbage disposal area until people arrived; they worked very hard to clean it up and prepare it to live there. “Around 39% of Bolivian population lives in poverty, that means almost 3 million of inhabitants living with infringed rights,” points Roger Yance, TECHO Bolivia social director.
Saturday and Sunday the sun shines; but hot weather does not stop volunteers or Raquel’s family. “We must finish the roof before the sun rises and the heat rises” alerts Arturo, one of the volunteers. Raquel, her dad Rudy and her brothers worked very hard and the house is almost finished. “I am very impressed about these young people; their wish to help others is an example for my kids and for other children,” says Rudy. “It is like a big network build by them to help.”
Sunday noon, everybody is tired, the weather is hot but satisfaction over the good work is reflected on every face around the table. The community prepared a big meal for volunteers and neighborhood members. The work is finished and 15 families can say now `home, sweet home.´