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Contact: Michael J. Bonderer - firstname.lastname@example.orgSan Luis Talpa, San Salvador
FULLER CENTER FOR HOUSING EL SALVADOR
Cost to sponsor a house for a family: $5,500
In February 2008, the Fuller Center for Housing purchased a plot of land in the town of San Luis Talpa, sufficient for 60 homes and a community center. With the exception of four, one-bedroom homes, all of the houses built there will have two bedrooms, each with a kitchen, bath and two porches, either of which can be converted to more living space if the family desires. The houses will also have gutters to promote a community program of water harvesting. The new homes are a sharp contrast to the makeshift shacks, made of tires, garbage bags, rotting tin and bamboo, where the new FCH homeowners previously lived. They will no longer have to worry about flooding, muddy floors, leaking roofs and a lack of ventilation.
El Salvador is one of the most popular places for Global Builders teams to go because it is less expensive and has been established for many years. Propose a trip now or learn more about joining a trip on our Global Builders page.
El Salvador, known as the "Tom Thumb" of the Americas, is the smallest Central American country and the only one without a coastline on the Caribbean Sea. With a population of 7,066,403 (July 2008 est.), it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with some 700,000 Salvadorans in need of decent, adequate housing. An estimated 30.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, while over 40 percent of the rural population lives in homes with dirt floors and impermanent wall material.
In late 2006, the government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a five-year, $461 million compact to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country’s northern region through investments in education, public services, enterprise development, and transportation infrastructure. However, many Salvadoran families continue to struggle to survive while living in dilapidated housing subject to natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides and earthquakes.
2008 Millard and Linda Fuller Blitz Build
El Salvador hosted the first international Millard and Linda Fuller Blitz Build from Nov. 17 - 22, 2008, in San Luis Talpa. One hundred and eight volunteers, representing 28 states, Canada and Peru, and ranging in age from 17 to 75, traveled to El Salvador to build 16 houses in five days. Each house was fully sponsored by individual and group donors, including several churches, at a cost of $5,500 each. To pay back the cost of materials, each family pays about $20 per month on a no-interest, no-profit loan. These funds help "pay it forward" so FCH can keep building more houses in El Salvador as new homeowners pay back their house costs over time.
Many Miracles Sewing Project
Over two years ago, The Fuller Center’s Director of Operations in El Salvador, Mike Bonderer, started a sewing training project in two communities, Villa Kiwanis and Corazon De Maria. Pedals for Progress donated sewing machines, and the El Salvador government provided instructors for a three-month sewing course for local women. The project was so successful that Mike has expanded it to train Fuller Center partner families in San Luis Talpa, calling it the Many Miracles Project, because each successful woman trained to sew for a living will be just one of many miracles.
Mike secured a partner that will allow the women to manufacture handbags out of recycled products such as rice bags, burlap and rubber inner tubes and sell them in the U.S. It’s a speciality clothing manufacturer called NOTICE-online that sells to over 900 boutiques, including Macy’s and Blomingdales. The vision of the Many Miracles project is to provide sustainable employment for the women in the communities and to provide first-class daycare facilities for their children.
- See pictures of our work in El Salvador.
- El Salvador Fuller Center - Homes for the Heart Web site
- Check out the NY Times Topic: El Salvador for facts and links to statistics about El Salvador.
- Watch VIDEO from Sen. John Edwards most recent visit to The Fuller Center in El Salvador.
- Read about a 26-person Global Builders trip.
- Read about when part of the Fuller family returned to El Salvador in 2009.
- Students from the University of Cincinnati tell about volunteering in El Salvador.