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2008-2009 Model Blitz Builds & More Highlights &
Year at a Glance Communities Family Profile Upcoming Events
2008-2009 YEAR AT A GLANCE
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear amigos of Habitat El Salvador,
¡Saludos desde El Salvador! We are pleased to share
with you our 2008-2009 Annual Report, in which we
highlight our achievements from this past fiscal year.
We have a saying in El Salvador that when the
United States sneezes, then El Salvador gets the flu.
Now that the U.S. (not to mention the whole world)
is in the midst of a very serious economic crisis, you
can imagine how severely our country is being
For example, from January to May 2009, a total of
$1.44 billion was received, which reflects a 10% drop A partner family ready to move into their new home.
in remittances from the same period in 2008.
Furthermore, many Salvadorans have lost their jobs
here in-country. As a result, low-income families
were more hesitant about committing to a home
loan. Nevertheless, we were still successful in pro- 2008-2009 Achievements
viding more than 1,100 housing solutions, including
complete houses and home rehabs.
Families served: 1139
We were able to reach more families during this fiscal Houses: 534
year in part because of the opening of a new regional Home rehabs: 605
office in the department of San Miguel. This office
now serves families in San Miguel, as well as the Mortgage
nearby departments of La Unión and Morazán. We repayment rate: 84.11% (families)
also continued to offer holistic housing solutions, with
the final construction and dedication of the Charlotte
Model Community and the beginning of the Thrivent
Builds Worldwide Villa Esperanza Community.
Tithe: $17,827.00 sent to
We have started this new fiscal year on a good note, Habitat Haiti to
as we celebrated our 7,000th housing solution on support families
July 1st. We would not have reached this milestone
without the support of so many Habitat affiliates,
churches, foundations, businesses, and individuals.
Thank you for donating your time and resources.
The estimated housing deficit of 400,000 units still internationally: More than $2.4 million
looms large. Your ongoing support gives us hope
that we will not only weather the current economic Funds raised
crisis, but also serve even more Salvadoran families
in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
locally: More than $290,000
Peace and hope, GV teams hosted: 69
teams hosted: 82
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
Thrivent Builds Worldwide Villa Esperanza Community
As announced in the mid-year report, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
has partnered with Habitat for Humanity El Salvador to build a
community by the end of 2010. Thrivent Financial, a Minneapolis-based
financial services membership organization, will invest up to $1.3 million
in this project and will send a total of 60 volunteer teams to help with
construction, alongside masons and national volunteers.
The Villa Esperanza Community, translated in English to Hope Village, is
already under construction on land adjoining that of the Charlotte Model
This Thrivent team spent a Community (see article below). This holistic project will include the con-
week building in June.
struction of 75 houses, basic infrastructure—water, electricity, sanitation
system, roads, and sidewalks—as well as a vocational training center. A
total of $1.7 million will be invested in this project.
Luis Fernando Díaz, a Habitat social worker, is helping the two
communities to integrate, as eventually one board of directors will over-
see them both, and Charlotte and Villa Esperanza residents will have
access to all community facilities.
As of the end of the fiscal year, six teams have helped build the first 16
HFHI CEO Jonathan Reckford
homes. The community was also the site of the July 1st dedication of
(right) with Thrivent CEO Brad Habitat El Salvador’s 7,000th housing solution (see page 5).
Hewitt (left) and Family 7,000.
Charlotte Model Community
The Charlotte Model Community was designed to help landless, low-income families
and is Habitat El Salvador's first holistic housing project of its kind. Located in the
department of Santa Ana, the community provides housing, land, basic infrastruc-
ture, a daycare, and a community center to 60 low-income families. We hope that
Charlotte—named in honor of our friends and partners in Charlotte, NC—will be a
model not only architecturally, but also in terms of human development.
The Charlotte Model Community is an exciting example of
community empowerment and leadership. Volunteers and masons
finished construction of the last six houses by August 2008, and the
community’s board of directors was sworn in by the local mayor in
October during the official inauguration.
The board is already working on a wide variety of community at one of the general
development projects, with support from the Habitat social worker. assembly meetings.
One of their first priorities was to negotiate with the mayor’s office
to install street lamps for their security and to commit to biweekly
trash collection. They have since worked with various NGOs on pro-
jects such as: obtaining eco-friendly stoves, creating a community
arts and crafts market, and organizing community celebrations. The
board continues to hold regular assemblies with all community
members to discuss upcoming plans and projects.
Habitat El Salvador would like to thank Habitat for Humanity of
Charlotte for raising funds for land and infrastructure, as well as the
Palmer Foundation for sponsoring the construction of the daycare,
the community center, and the playground. We would also like to Charlotte resident Flor
thank Price Charities and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bis- poses in the daycare.
marck, ND for helping to equip the daycare.
BLITZ BUILDS & FAMILY PROFILE
2008-2009 Blitz Builds
• Building on Faith 2008: Our first blitz build of the year was held in two different locations:
San Rafael Obrajuelo in La Paz and the Brisas del Sur Model Community in San Vicente. With
the support of 45 international and 99 local volunteers, we built a total of 14 houses!
• Christmas in Action 2008: From December 1st-5th, 13 Canadian and 71 national
volunteers helped the Méndez Trejo family (profiled below) to build five homes in Piedras
• Rise Up and Build 2009: Held from April 6th-11th, 50 international volunteers were joined
by 109 national volunteers to build seven homes in Santa María, Usulután.
The Méndez Trejo Family
heart, without expecting to gain anything in
return. We remember them every day. May God
bless them all.”
The family used to live together in one house on a
hacienda, where they worked. Now that they no
longer depend on the hacienda, they have started
to rent a small plot of land where they can plant
various crops that, during a good season, provide
basic sustenance for the entire family year-round.
Vicente says that since moving into their new
homes, their lives have changed for the better.
He notes that they all feel happy and literally are
living a dream come true—land and a house for
each family unit. The five houses are occupied by
Vicente and four of his grandchildren Vicente, Hilaria, and their family as follows:
pose in front of one of the houses.
• Vicente and Hilaria live with their 19-year-old
The 2008 annual Christmas in Action blitz build son, Francisco Javier, and their 5-year-old
was a very special event because volunteers and granddaughter, Estela Abigail. Francisco works
masons helped the Méndez Trejo family build five at a repair and parts business.
homes! The family is headed by Vicente and his • José Luis, 22 years old, works at the same
wife of 45 years, Hilaria. In their mid-sixties, the business as Francisco. He married his wife
couple now lives in their new Habitat home. The Keni in late December 2008. She is a teacher
other houses are occupied by five of their 13 at a nearby kindergarten.
children and their families. • Oscar Daniel is José Luis’ twin. He is studying
In 2003, when Vicente and Hilaria first tried to for a university degree in accounting and also
build the homes, they discovered that they must works in the same repair store as a traveling
first pay off the mortgage on their land. The salesman. He shares the house with his 24-
family spent the next three years paying it off and year-old brother Ricardo Eliseo, who works as
the two years after that fighting a bureaucratic an administrative assistant and who is also
battle to get clear title. Once they had legalized studying accounting.
their land, they applied for the Habitat houses and • Felipe Francisco, 28, is a police officer, and his
were accepted! Construction finally began in wife, Marisa, is a homemaker. They have a 6-
November 2008! year-old son, Kevin, who is in the first grade.
• Salvador Ernesto, 32, is the administrator at
Vicente and Hilaria fondly remember the volun- the hacienda where the family used to live. He
teers who helped build their homes. “We would lives with his wife Nancy and their three
like to thank all of the volunteers because they children: Benjamín Ernesto, 10; Edwin, 9; and
are all very special to us,” Vicente says. “It was Steven, 3. Benjamín and Edwin study in fifth
a great example of people working from the and fourth grades, respectively.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS & UPCOMING EVENTS
Other 2008-2009 Highlights: Starting the 2009-2010 Year:
• Valle Nuevo: Twenty more houses were built • Family 7,000: On July 1st, we dedicated our
in this rural community in Cabañas, as part of 7,000th housing solution in the Villa Esperanza
a multi-year differentiated subsidized housing Community, in the presence of 400 national
project sponsored by Shalom Mission and international supporters and partner
Communities and Waco Habitat for Humanity. families. Celebrating this milestone with us
was the Executive Steering Committee of the
• Brisas del Sur: This model community was
Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity
expanded this year during the Building on
Alliance, including HFHI CEO Jonathan Reckford
Faith blitz build, when seven houses were
and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans COO Brad
built. Ten more are under construction using
Hewitt (see photo on page 3), as well as area
an alternative metallic mold system, sponsored
vice president for HFH LAC, Torre Nelson.
in part by the SNV Netherlands Development
Organisation, CEDES (Salvadoran Business Keep in Touch:
Council for Sustainable Development), and
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CESSA (Cement of El Salvador).
In addition to connecting with fellow
• 2008 Benefit Dinner: We announced our Habitat El Salvador supporters, you will
Solidarity Award winners (profiled in our mid- receive monthly updates. Join us at:
year report) and raised more than $12,000 Habitat for Humanity—GV El
during this year’s event, held on October 23rd. Salvador.
• San Miguel Regional Office: On March 5th,
• Follow our blog!
we inaugurated our new regional office in the
Leave us a comment, become a
department of San Miguel.
follower, and check out photos at
One of the 30 houses New houses in Brisas del Sur The inauguration of the
built in Valle Nuevo. using the mold technology. San Miguel Regional Office.
Mark your calendars!
• Aug. 3-8, 2009
Building on Faith Blitz Build
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
Colonia General Arce
• Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 2009 Calle Jorge Domínguez # H-4
Christmas in Action Blitz Build San Salvador, El Salvador