Following is an update on the House for Juan Manuel. To read the first article and learn more about this exciting project, click here.
As the final days of work on the house are upon us, things are moving quickly.
All of the contracted work is completed and paid for. We have also completed and paid for a few things we did not anticipate, including a very expensive connection to electrical service. But life is what it is. All that is left now are some housekeeping issues and the kitchen completion.
To give you some context, we have uploaded some videos to YouTube. Apologies that my voice is muffled due to my mask, and the video from the roof has a lot of wind noise.
The interior video gives you an idea of what a four by six meter house looks like. We are finalizing how to approach the kitchen in the most economical way possible to ensure that there is a flat surface to place a stove top, a place for a microwave, flat surface for prep work and storage for food and kitchen wares. The interior walls have been sealed and await a coat of paint next week.
The exterior video highlights a wonderful paint job by Yolanda and two volunteers, Marie-Anne and Martin Glaude. Second coat to follow next week. You can also see the area where we are going to make a crude laundry wash station from some leftover concrete blocks, leftover gravel and a donated wash basin. We are also, fingers crossed, going to get some fill dirt that will compress nicely to clean up the entrance to the home.
Here are some photos of the painting team in action:
The video from the roof puts in perspective the location of the home relation to the parts of Mazatlan most of us know well and provides an idea of the surrounding area.
In watching the videos, there are some things I would like to point out that show just how many different ways we benefited from the larger Mazatlan community. You will see:
- A tinaco on the roof which was donated
- All of the windows were donated (we paid for the iron bars that protect them)
- The front door was donated and we paid to have it resized. There we also got the ceiling fan, light switches and outlets.
- The iron door in back was donated and modified to fit.
- The kitchen sink was donated.
- The bathroom sink, toilet and shower head were donated
This in addition to all the pesos we received to cover construction and materials costs. We are so grateful, as are Don Rudolfo and Juan Manuel.
We are currently using all our networks to source two twin mattresses and with a miracle amount of luck, a trundle bed to allow for storage during the day. If the miracle does not occur, we will try to source two basic bed frames. We are hoping to receive a refrigerator as well. We have plumbed for hot water, but have not been able to provide a boiler. Boilers are not common as the logical location, outside, makes them prone to theft and premature aging. We considered an on-demand boiler placed inside but the pressure there is virtually non-existent. So that would mean a pump. We have one donated, but they are not allowed in these neighborhoods as that would allow one house to take all the water for the street as they are all on a shared water line. We will hold the pump for a future project. So, with funds about exhausted, and out of ideas, we opted to simply provide the plumbing and make hot water a standalone project for us or somebody else down the road.
We have been asked about a move in date, and we don’t yet know. The house truly looks like a house and we feel all of your excitement along with our own, that of our team and even of the neighbors in the invasion. We have learned a lot about building in an invasion and how teamwork and communication across cultures is the key to success.
When the kitchen is done and the painting is finalized, we will update you again. Until then, thank you, thank you, thank you for making this happen. While we are the ones on-site, it was your generosity that made this all possible. It is our hope to be able to invite you all—masked and social distanced—to the gifting of the house. More on that soon.