Today we handed over the keys to the “House of Good Vibrations,” as I now call it, thanks to the love and generosity of over 80 individuals, couples and families who built and furnished the small blue “Home for Juan Manuel!”
18 people attended an appreciation ceremony this morning, during which the new owners, Don Rodolfo and Juan Manuel, expressed their thanks to the VidaMaz community. Juan Manuel and Don Rodolfo both were completely overwhelmed with your generosity. They both cried several different times and were at a complete loss for words. You truly have changed their lives and filled them with hope! They plan to move in tomorrow. Many people arrived today bearing food and gifts to help the men settle into their new home.
One of the attendees recorded the “giving of the keys” ceremony on her cell phone. Sadly the wind was rather gusty at times, but I believe you can hear most of it. The full video is below:
We first announced this project to build a small house on November 25, 2020. Initially it was to be a 3 x 4 meter home with an outdoor bathroom and kitchen. Since Juan Manuel is on crutches (he has only one leg) and blind, we felt the home needed indoor plumbing, and you agreed. We ended up building a home that is 4 x 6 meters, so still very small, but very livable and much better than anything they would have dreamed possible. You even helped us install hot water! You all donated kitchen sink, cupboards, refrigerator, microwave, utensils, bathroom sink, toilet, shower, mirror, a shelf, a trundle bed, two tables, four chairs, a ceiling fan, boiler, a tinaco, concrete, gravel, doors, windows, septic tank… you truly rocked this! You gave monetary donations of 20 to 32,000 pesos. Thank you!
Every step of the way, if we had difficulties, you came through to help. We had been searching for weeks for a trundle bed. Two men will live here, but there is not enough room in the house for two single beds and a user of crutches to move around. Last week we kindly received the donation of the donor’s grandson’s beloved, solid wood trundle bed with two mattresses AND handmade quilts! Juan Manuel and Don Rodolfo were over the moon when they saw it. Zata installed the front walkway this week, but, of course, most of Mazatlán has been without water this week. How to make concrete for the stairs? No worries; we figured it out.
In the end, we came in exactly with the money needed. Greg and I personally paid for a bonus to thank Zata, our albañil; without his honesty and dedication I can only imagine how difficult this project might have been.
Total Spent: 130,795 pesos or US$6507
Boiler, install and protection: 7784
Walkway and yard work: 14,300
Electrical from street: 12,600
The amount above is significantly higher than our original estimate for this project, but that estimate was for a basic structure only: no windows, doors, plumbing, electrical nor interior furnishings. Even with the ease with which it functioned—your generous donations, no theft, an honest and dependable builder—it was way more work than any of us imagined it would be. Feeling the joy and happiness of these two men today, however, made it more than worthwile. I trust you are happy to have participated.
The full story of the building of this house is right here. You can read it from the beginning if you are interested:
- Nov 25: My introduction of Juan Manuel and his father, plus asking you to help with the project
- Dec 1: An initial budget plus 22 donations
- Dec 8: Our first hiccups: re-examining the initial plans and having to find a new builder
- Dec 13: Architectural plans and a wonderful new builder
- Dec 16: Ground breaking!
- Dec 21: Foundation and plumbing during the second week of construction
- Dec 24: A Christmas Message from Juan Manuel plus thank you’s to the new neighbors
- Jan 2: Don Rodolfo’s first glimpse of his new home
- Jan 10: The roof is up!
- Jan 18: 87,000 pesos collected, but trouble paying our builder
- Jan 26: Exterior is plastered
- Feb 1: Interior plaster, delays on the windows and doors prevent us proceeding
- Feb 18: House is painted; videos of interior, exterior and the view from the roof
- Feb 25: Kitchen is in!
- Mar 8: Refrigerator, boiler and an invitation to donors
Bless you all! I trust your heart is bursting with joy! Pretty much everyone who attended the ceremony this morning remarked at how moved they felt, how honored they were to be able to make a difference in someone’s lives, and how wonderful it is to be in the company of people committed to making this world a bit sweeter.