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El Salvador Eco Home: Week One

Well, we are so excited that we have started work on the first house! We truly hope that this is the first of hundreds to come. It has been an interesting week. As with all things in El Salvador, progress is a little bit slower than what we would like, but progress is progress.

This week we went to the farm property over the weekend and picked out the exact space to build the house. Geographically, it is best to build your house so that the front entrance is facing south (or towards the equator if you are on the other side of the world). We found a nice spot that was fairly flat and started laying out the dimensions of the house.

Although we originally planned the concept home to be three circular rooms, while we were there we found it would actually be simpler to go with two large rooms. Each of the two rooms has an 18-foot diameter. We will be splitting the first room into the living room and kitchen, and the back room will be split into the bedroom and bathroom.

Honestly, part of this decision was made because the intense heat of the day and bugs flying and eating us alive made us want to get this done as quickly as possible! Measuring a third room was going to take extra time on a 98-degree day with no shade nearby.

This decision will actually make building easier though. Plus, now we get to build an interior wall out of plastic bottles and trash that we hadn't planned on before, and ultimately this will require less tire pounding so it is a win/win.

At this point, the foundation is being dug out for the gravel and tires to go into. We found a great hardware store that was very kind, accepts debit cards (which is very rare here in small towns), and they delivered our gravel so now they know where we live for future deliveries and orders. You probably don't realize what a relief this is but it is a pretty big win for us. Plus they charged almost $10 less per square meter of gravel than the guys across the street that only accepted cash.

The men unloading the gravel thought this was a very cool concept and said they would try to volunteer and help us when they have the time, and they would love to learn how to do this too. This is what we want!! We want this building method to have a ripple effect so anyone in El Salvador can start collecting free materials and build a disaster-proof, temperate, and comfortable home for themselves or their families.

Although things are moving a little slower than we would like and are a bit more expensive than we were expecting, we are happy to be one step closer to building the dream!

We could really use your support - if you are local, we need volunteers to help with labor and if you are abroad, we could really use donations to help fund this first house.

We hope once this first house is built we will have proof of concept and be able to apply for grants but right now this is a labor of love with mostly our own time, money, and effort going into it.


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