Honduras School Build

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Honduras School Build

  1. 1. Honduras School Build Partnership Between: Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG), Home Repairs Ministries, Inc. (HRM) & Six Christian Men From ATL 1
  2. 2. Introduction  About Us: – Five men from Atlanta who are in a discipleship group together wanted to serve the Lord in a unique way. Through much prayer, and several failed attempts to get involved in a mission trip through our home church, God made it clear that we were to go to Honduras and build a school. We added a sixth person to the team who is the brother-in-law of one of our members and removed the need for an interpreter - he lived in Honduras for 16 years and his dad is the Executive Director of PAG!  Situation: – PAG has a program whereby it assists communities in building schools. There has to be a need, the government of Honduras has to commit to providing a teacher, and the community is required to provide a certain number of man hours to complete the school. – In our case, El Cerron Taulabe has two existing school buildings which house 168 students in grades 1 - 6. They were holding grades 1,3,5 in one building and 2,4,6 in the other. Honduras committed to provide a third teacher if the community could build the classroom. The community shared with us that they have been trying for two years to get the classroom, the classroom all of you provided!  Presentation: – I have selected a few of the pictures from our trip and will provide a brief description of the activities that occurred while we were there. We took literally hundreds of pictures and they are all available at the following website (you need to copy the next line and paste it in your browser because I could not get the hyperlink to work): http://picasaweb.google.com/nationof5/HondurasSchool09# 2
  3. 3. Traveling to the Site  We were staying in a state park that was about 2,500 ft above sea level. We had to drive down to a road that was at about 500 ft and then drive to the school site that was at 6,500 ft. The “roads” were treacherous and we had to exchange our rental van after one trip up/down the mountain. We got stuck on the way up and bounced so hard on the way down that the spare tire flew off! We were fortunate to be able to swap the van for a PAG small pickup truck. Four guys fit inside the cab and two road in the back. None of the pictures truly show how bad these roads were. This was probably the only level spot This was the edge of the road for during the hole drive and notice the most of the trip. ravine in the middle of the road. 3
  4. 4. The Site  The building to the far left of the screen that is an aqua color is the “city building.” The roof leaked badly, so the building hadn’t been used for a while and it was unsafe to be converted into a classroom (we asked). The building directly behind the construction contains the existing two school rooms. The above picture is a better look at the “city building.” The picture to the left was taken while class was in session. You can see the new classroom through the 4 windows in the background.
  5. 5. Construction – the Walls  The Executive Director of PAG has designed these cement buildings to provide efficient building and a durable product. As shown in the picture on the previous slide, the community had poured the foundation, cemented in the “studs”, and began to slide in the wall pieces. Here is us finishing the job: Notice the “scaffolding” – it is purely by God’s grace 5 that no one was injured!
  6. 6. Floor & Sidewalks  While some were working on finishing the walls, others were working on preparing the floor for concrete, digging out for the sidewalks, and digging out an area that required a retaining wall. We had to dig down about 5 feet to get This is me leveling the to the other classrooms’ footer which floor. I spent several will end up being a sidewalk to the Here you can see the completed hours filling low spots stairs to go up to the new classroom. wall and a crew of community and compacting the soil The real fun was filling it all back in after members digging out the with a makeshift tamper. we spent hours moving it out to make sidewalk. Although you can’t (There is a picture of the room for the retaining wall! see it in this picture, when all the “tampers” in a later photo.) I also was the shovels were flying, it was like a well oiled machine. 6 butt of a few jokes due to my “safari” outfit!
  7. 7. Roof & Sealing the Cracks  The person in the front of the left picture is Carlos. He is a professional and hired by PAG to weld the roofs into place. We had a unique experience with our roof as the new classroom was positioned so close to the “city building” that the school roof could not have a normal overhang. We had a solution, but we had to convince the PAG representative that it was the right solution. We actually lifted a section of the roof off the “city building” and cut notches in our metal beams to allow the school roof to sit flush with the city building roof. Once everyone agreed, Carlos was given instructions and he masterfully made it happen. I will point out the fit in the slide showing the completed school. Chet (our interpreter) convincing them to do it “our way” This picture shows us To make the roofs even filling in cracks where the Carlos stronger, the metal beams panels come together with are filled with concrete a “finer” cement mixture before the top of the beam i.e. we sifted the rocks out is welded on. 7 of the sand while mixing the cement.
  8. 8. Cement & Retaining Wall  We spent a lot time mixing cement! There was a large sand pile on the side of the school and we had to manually mix all of the cement. For those who are curious, you need 55 shovels of sand for every 50lb bag of concrete (it was in kilos, but I think it was roughly 50 lbs)! We went through 60 bags of concrete and no one escaped without a turn as the concrete mixer. Filled with rocks Here are two community members mixing cement inside the school. You moved all the sand into a pile with the cement mix, then re-piled it a second time, and then a third time to ensure it was mixed Here is the building of the retaining correctly. After the third pile was made, it was wall. In an effort to make the wall turned into a “volcano” with the water being poured even stronger, they had us fill the in the middle and the walls of the volcano being holes in the concrete blocks with mixed into the water until it was all a big pile of rocks and when they didn’t fit – we cement! gave them to Nate! 8
  9. 9. Pouring Floor & Moving Dirt  Once the retaining wall was built, we had to fill it back up with “mucho tierra” (a lot of earth). We lost count of the number of wheelbarrows it took to fill the area, but it was well over 60! Steelers! Filled with rocks These pictures show the pouring the floor. They Here is the finished retaining leveled a couple of 2x4’s wall with all the dirt filled in & and then used them to If you remember me compacted. I spent an entire plum against. The project mentioning a “tamper” in day working on this area, so manager from PAG was an earlier slide, there are everyone called it “Dave’s very particular about how two in this picture: Chile wall”. Actually, there are two the cement was finished is holding one and the Daves in the group, so the and would not let us un- other is leaning against locals called me “Grande experienced concrete the wall beside me. David” i.e. “big David”. finishers take a crack at it! 9
  10. 10. Inside Drying – Painting  While the inside was drying, the front door was hung (it was not easy since it was metal, custom made, and didn’t exactly fit when it arrived) and we painted the entire exterior. Filled with rocks Notice the ladders. They built the first one out of two small trees & some 2x4 scraps. After we broke it 3 times, they built one solely out of 2x4’s. I started painting on the “tree ladder” and they asked me to move onto the 2x4 ladder because they were afraid I would break it again. 10
  11. 11. Town Meeting  During our fourth day on the site, there was a town meeting where we were able to explain why we were there and allow the town’s people to ask questions. While the meeting was going on, all the men went to work and accomplished a lot in the 30 minutes that we met with wives and children. The picture below was taken early as somewhere between 50 – 75 people were there when the speaking began. Chris Schueler spoke on behalf of our group and explained that it was the love of God that led us to help their community. He told them to thank God for the school for it is He that provides and we are merely the tools that he used in this particular instance. He closed by reminding them that God is the One who is all powerful and can provide what they need. It may have taken two years to get the Filled classroom they were hoping for, with without God, it wouldn’t but rocks provided. have been When we opened the floor questions, the only questions that were asked were: “what church are you with?” and “where are you from?” We explained that we did not come through a church and that we are members of a discipleship group where we study and worship the Lord together. They were very surprised that we came on our own and were not part of a bigger group. The lead teacher of the school came forward and thanked us profusely for building the new classroom and promised that they would take full advantage of it. Quick side story: the main teacher comes to the town on Monday and stays with a local family till Friday. She rides 11 home with the second teacher one night a week to ease the burden on the family. The horse is not very big and it takes them an hour each way when they are riding the horse together!
  12. 12. Lunch Breaks  Each day there were a couple members of our team who would play soccer during lunch with the villagers that were helping. This was a very rich time for those who participated and I even gave in on the final day and joined in the game. Filled with rocks “The Regulars” Chet, Chris and Nate from our team. “Grande David” applying the defense Notice the hand crafted screen behind the against a student con mucho talento! goal to prevent the ball from hitting the building. 12
  13. 13. We are Done!  When we left, the school was built, the exterior was completely finished, and all concrete was poured except the area above “my wall”. The interior still required some finishing touches and the community was planning to complete that in the next couple of days. Thanks to your generosity, the school is even going to be furnished before the next school year! I mentioned earlier that a later photo would show how the two roofs were worked together. I was amazed at how well we were able to make this work out despite all the challenges! Filled with rocks Pictured: Back Row, me (David Winters); Chris Schueler, Eric Powers, David Streib, Nate Benard, Chet Thomas Front row: The little guy was always around and tried to help, but I didn’t get his name, the second guy was a hard worker, but very quiet, the third guy (in front of Chris) is Gabrielle – ‘the perfectionist” in charge of this build, Carlos (professional), Nadine – the person at PAG responsible for all school builds, Juan Carlos (our favorite student helper), 13 and a guy that always showed up for food and photos, but he never actually helped and we don’t know his name!
  14. 14. The Last Day – CANDY!  We decided to buy a bunch of candy on the last day and give it to the students as they exited class. The school day ends around noon since it is so hot. We okayed it with la professoras and had a great time interacting with the children. Preparing the candy for distribution Filled with Once they were all sugared up, we taught them how to rocks throw a football We gave three pieces of candy to every child as they exited the classroom After all children had candy, we had the teacher 14 identify the best students by performance and attendance – each got an additional piece of candy.
  15. 15. The Team Juan Carlos – our favorite helper! David Streib: Nate Bernard: Consultant Analyst, Private Specializes in Project Management for Banking and Healthcare Companies Investment Group at Merrill Lynch David Winters: CFO of Intellione Technologies Corporation; Director on HRM, Inc. board Filled with rocks Chris Schueler: Director, Global Security Operations for IBM Corporation Eric Powers, Corporate Counsel & Asst. Chet Thomas: Civil Engineer, Urban 15 Corporate Secretary for Crawford & Company Design for the Georgia DOT
  16. 16. Financial Recap  The table to the right shows the full financial picture of the mission trip  One lesson learned: do not buy foreign currency from Travelex at ATL. I have done it before and was told it was the best way to go, but the beating we took on the exchange rate was not worth the security of doing it in the US.  Donors provided 57% of the funding needed and our group provided the other 43%.  Although the furniture for the school Filled costs just over $1,000, we chose to with rocks donate $206.32 to HRM, Inc. for providing the tracking of the donations and the receipts to the donors. It cost them a lot more than that to provide the services and we are very thankful for the partnership on this mission! 16
  17. 17. A Couple of Misc Photos  Here are a couple of photos that did not fit in my chronological presentation: We have a new definition for an after work drink! This is a picture of where we stayed. We had the two left The photo to the left most cabins which slept 3 people is a picture of “El each. We were very lucky that Presidente”. our site was relatively near this Basically, each rural “state” park. Even though it is a town has a president Honduras park, the park is and vice president responsible for funding itself and that provide relies on income from visitors to leadership for the maintain the park. Even with community. that challenge, the park is very Tools? All these guys need is inexpensive and contains acres a machete. Seriously, they cut of beautiful wilderness. everything with it! 17
  18. 18. Thank You!  Thank you to everyone who supported us on this trip! Also, thank you to those who didn’t have an opportunity to participate this time, but took the time to read about the trip. We were touched deeply by the gratefulness of the community that we served and are thankful that God is gracious enough to use us to execute His perfect plan – especially when He doesn’t need us!  We had such a positive experience on this mission trip, that we are intending to do it again next year. During our next trip, our goal is to document everything that we can to make it easier for future groups to execute the same mission for God.  Even though we built the 77th school through this PAG program; each trip is literally planned from scratch and there is almost no learning curve benefit due to each group embarking on the journey with little to no information.  It is our hope that we will be able to create materials/tools for future groups that travel to Honduras to participate in the PAG program that will give them a better understanding of what is required up front and to ensure a successful mission trip. Filled  Thank you again for your involvement. with rocks  Although you may never have the opportunity to meet them, you have touched many lives and glorified God! 18

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