Casita Linda, A.C.

The purpose of Casita Linda A.C. is to provide environmentally compatible, low cost, comfortable, homes for families living in extreme poverty who reside in greater San Miguel de Allende. Casita Linda further provides guidance for families to improve their health, education, maintenance of their homes and communities.
Aug 15, 2011

Casita Linda Quarterly Report, July 2011

A family member shows a volunteer how it
A family member shows a volunteer how it's done.

Casita Linda, A.C.                                                        July 31, 2011

Quarterly Project Report www.casitalinda.org

We are happy to report that Casita Linda just recently completed building our 41st home for the desperately poor living in this area of Central Mexico.

One of the criteria we apply in selecting a family is that they or members of their extended family are willing to contribute in as many ways as possible to the construction of their casita. This help takes many forms, including the digging of the foundation, helping to carry bricks and mortar to those who are building the walls, assisting with painting the metal doors and window frames built on site, soaking bricks in water to get them ready to use, and contributing a few tortillas to inspire the work crew.

Pictures of the family members and other volunteers are included in the attached document. Please open this to see the pictures listed below:

Ceci and her family

Ceci's extended family helping to mix cement and carry it to our work crew

Ana Cristina, about 6 years old, carries a bucket of cement just her size

Ana on a ladder, handing up the bucket of cement to Sid, one of our regular volunteers

Enrique, an 11 year old, comes after school and on Saturdays to help us. We built a casita for his family last year

Pablo, another volunteer learning new skills as he helps build a Patsari stove

Ceci paints a coat of primer on the metal window frames built on site

Little Remedios, the youngest in the family, is not to be left out as she carries a brick

Another young daughter shovels sand into a wheelbarrow, showing a new volunteer how it's done

Ceci and her daughters cook up a few tortillas as a snack for the work crew

There are countless other families of hardworking and industrious people whose fundamental quality of life would improve if they lived in a Casita Linda house.  And so we ask for your help in making 2011 a record-breaking year in the annals of Casita Linda’s history. Your generosity, when combined with the gifts of others, will allow us to build at least 7 new homes this year. The need is truly urgent.

Let us know if you would like to receive a progress report (with photos) as we build our casitas.

We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us. How might we further improve the living circumstances of these desperately poor families? Please add a comment to our report, or email your questions and suggestions to us directly: info@casitalinda.org

William Greenfield, Executive Director, Casita Linda, A.C., San Miguel de Allende, MX

Ceci and her beautiful family.
Ceci and her beautiful family.

Links:


Attachments:
May 3, 2011

Casita Linda Quarterly Update - April 2011

A Young Son Helps Out
A Young Son Helps Out

Casita Linda, A.C.                                                    April 29, 2011

Quarterly Project Report www.casitalinda.org

I am happy to report that Casita Linda just recently completed building our 38th home for the desperately poor living in this area of Central Mexico.

In addition to bringing you up to date on several of our newest families for whom we have built homes, I am excited to report that we have improved our ability to tailor the size of our homes to the specific needs of the family to be served.

Up until recently we have been tied to a “one size fits all” model. This works fine when the family being served is large and needs all of the space in our regular casita – about 600 square feet, including two sleeping lofts.

Working with a University of Guanajuato architect, our construction team has figured out a way to use the same basic footprint as our regular casita, 13’ x 26’, but to modify it in two ways, making two other size casitas a possibility. What we now call the “medium” sized casita is 338 square feet, and it has no sleeping lofts. We simply lowered the barrel roof by about 6’, eliminating the lofts, resulting in a one-story house. We can still divide the space in various ways.

The third version, the “small” sized casita, is approximately 286 square feet. This is one-story, like the “medium”, except it is 4’ shorter in length. This size would be perfect for an elderly couple with no children, or a single mother with one child. Being able to choose among these three alternative sizes allows us to build in a more cost-effective manner, enabling our donors’ contributions to stretch further, serving more people and using less labor and materials.

We also have improved our building material. The bricks we use now are a step up from what we used previously. We did many houses with adobe blocks but they were very heavy and the walls required bracing (buttresses) to support the roof.  While adobe is more "green" than the usual red brick, it is not as green as most people think.  The adobe is laced with a petroleum product in order to waterproof it.

The grey block we now use consists of "tabicon", a material made from pumice. The tabicon is mixed with cement in a 10-1 ratio and voilá, we have a very light, very green, very strong brick with good insulating properties.  There is less weight on the foundation, they are cheaper by about a third, and they are all exactly the same size and require no special preparation (enabling faster construction).

We are now on the 5th day of building Casita 39. Because of the needs of this extended family this house is the “regular” size, but is configured with three rooms on the ground floor, each with an exterior door. The two end rooms will be private accommodations for two different families while the center room is a sheltered common space which also has access to the loft, where a third family grouping will live.

Thanks to you and other donors, Fidencio and his extended family now have a small home that is safe and secure, and which will protect them from the severe winter weather and the upcoming rainy summer months.

There are countless others like Fidencio and his family. They are hardworking and industrious people whose fundamental quality of life would improve if they lived in a Casita Linda house.  And so we ask for your help in making 2011 a record-breaking year in the annals of Casita Linda’s history. Your generosity, when combined with the gifts of others, will allow us to build at least 7 new homes this year. The need is truly urgent.

We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us. How might we further improve the living circumstances of these desperately poor families? Please add a comment to our report, or email your questions and suggestions to us directly: info@casitalinda.org

William Greenfield, Executive Director, Casita Linda, A.C., San Miguel de Allende, MX

Walls going up with new "tabicon" gray blocks
Walls going up with new "tabicon" gray blocks
Family Members Observing a Site Planning Meeting
Family Members Observing a Site Planning Meeting

Links:

Jan 21, 2011

Casita Linda Quartely Update, January 2011

Juana Rendon, Delighted with her Casita Linda
Juana Rendon, Delighted with her Casita Linda

Casita Linda, A.C.                                                    January 1, 2011

Quarterly Project Report www.casitalinda.org

There were more than 18 days this past December (2010) when the temperature dropped below freezing at night, in the campo around San Miguel de Allende. That is cold by anyone’s definition!

Many of the families we serve are living in circumstances that don’t provide shelter from these freezing temperatures. This puts them at severe risk, and these conditions are particularly difficult for the elderly or for those who are already suffering from one illness or another. 

I am happy to report that Casita Linda just recently completed building our 35th home for the desperately poor living in this area of Central Mexico.

Thanks to you and other donors, Juana Rendon and her family now have a small home that is safe and secure and which will protect them from the severe weather. We designed their home with a special room where Maria de la Luz, their disabled daughter, is able to do her weaving of small baskets to help supplement the family income. Thanks to your generosity, Juana, Maria, and her younger brothers Juan Gabriel and Mario Fernando, will have decent shelter this winter and for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, there still are many other families like Juana’s who need basic housing. The cold nights have an intense impact on the homeless. The fortunate ones live in humble dwellings covered by found pieces of tin or plastic tarp.  The less fortunate families live in the open air, huddled together to battle the cold nights after the sun sets in this high desert region.

There are countless others like Juana and her family. They are hardworking and industrious people whose fundamental quality of life would improve if they lived in a Casita Linda house.  And so we ask for your help in making 2011 a record-breaking year in the annals of Casita Linda’s history. Your generosity, when combined with the gifts of others, will allow us to build at least 7 new homes this year. The need is truly urgent.

 

We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us. How might we further improve the living circumstances of these desperately poor families? Please add a comment to our report, or email your questions and suggestions to us directly: info@casitalinda.org

William Greenfield, Executive Director, Casita Linda, A.C., San Miguel de Allende, MX

A Casita
A Casita's Sleeping Loft
Discussing Construction Details
Discussing Construction Details
Lorenza, Proud of Her Patsari Stove
Lorenza, Proud of Her Patsari Stove

Links:

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