Buenos Dias Amigos! The team has arrived safely albeit with a delayed flight and varying arrival times. We have convened at Hotel Portal del Sol for the week and are having a wonderful time getting to know one another, Habitat Paraguay staff and our host country. Heard of Paraguay? If you answered, “Yes,” could you find it on a map? It’s the tiny landlocked country in South America bordering its more boisterous neighbors, Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.
Habitat for Humanity Paraguay has been serving families since 1998 – over 7,500 of them. The challenge Habitat Paraguay has made for itself is to serve 1,000 families a year! They’ve set the bar high, but have a lot of support to make it happen. Over 85% of their funding is local, partnering with corporations such as banks and power companies, local schools. The remaining 15% comes from international partners like churches and programs such as Global Village, offering international volunteers a chance to come together and work on a team like this one.
So what makes this Global Village build “Las Muheres Construyen” – Women Build? All four of the homeowners this week are women, heading their households, working moms caring for their families. And now that we’ve met them we can tell you without a doubt they are hard-working, beautiful, loving ladies. Our team is honored to be partnering with them so that their families for generations to come can have a better life.
At each of the four sites construction is just getting under way. This means a lot of potentially back-breaking diggings, and cement mixing. Good thing we have 15 strong women and one strong man on this team (and a handful of enthusiastic young students) to move the chain! Our goal is for the walls to be about two meters high be the end of the week. If the weather cooperates, I have no doubt we’ll do it.