Ada and Ramon Sepulveda have two children. They currently live in a small space borrowed from friends. Because they have worked hard and saved, they were able to purchase a small piece of land in the Carazo region of Nicaragua, near a rural community known as Las Flores (the Flowers). Like most low-income Nicaraguan families, they would never have enough money to build a new home.
Enter SosteNica. For nearly a year, we have been developing a response to the housing crisis in Nicaragua – really a global crisis – too few homes for too many people. Most homes currently under construction use materials that harm the environment, are unattractive and uncomfortable. Further, these homes have, either no supporting technologies, or they utilize costly services such as electrification, natural gas, public water and sewers, which drain precious financial resources month after month.
SosteNica and the Sulpevadas have gotten together, along with CEPRODEL and FUNDESONIC to offer an elegant and sophisticated solution to multiple problems – affordability, environmental responsibility, appropriate technologies, beauty and comfort. Ground breaking, set for early November, has been awaiting all of the paperwork to be recorded – no small task. SosteNica has raised the funds. Together with FUNDESONIC, we have designed an attractive home complete with loft using pressed block as the core building material. Earth walls will keep the home cool in the summer, and warm during the occasionally cool evenings in Nicaragua. We are in the final stages of a participatory design process to develop those eco-technologies that will allow the family to capture and use rainwater, to treat and reuse waste water, to separate and process for fertility human waste, as well as to grow their own energy through a wood lot. The only thing standing between us and ground breaking was the land title (legal ownership) which had to be registered with the government before they could take the big leap. Now that is behind them. The deed is official.
The earth blocks have already been made and are ready to be laid up. SosteNica will document the entire process from laying the first earth block to ribbon cutting. Stay tuned, and thanks for your support.