Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pouring the terraza in Dulce Nombre

Narda cooking in the current kitchen

The Dulce Nombre parish is constructing a building with the kitchen and dining room on the first floor and a large meeting room on the second floor. The walls of the first floor are done and today the ceiling (which will be the floor of the second story)is being poured.

It is literally being poured – 12 centimeters of concrete. The terraza (ceiling/floor) has been prepared by placing wood planks supported by poles (in this case of bamboo). Above these rebar has been positioned. Cement is being poured around the bars on top of the wood. They will use about 200 bags of cement (at about 158 lempiras/ $8.30 per bag) – about $1,660. The rebar cost about $2,500. Then there are the costs of sand and gravel, as well as the wood and the bamboo poles. It’s quite costly.

Volunteers lower the cost of the project; otherwise the parish would have to pay for workers. More than fifty men from the parish arrived, some coming as early as 4 am. Four are albaniles, master workmen. There are also five women volunteering with preparing meals. The work of these volunteers can be valued monetarily at more than $500. Also, many of them came paying their own transport to the parish center!

Now there’s commitment.

The terraza has to be poured and prepared in one day. Then it will sit for at least two weeks on the wood and bamboo pole supports. The poles can be removed at that time but the terraza needs a whole month to really cure well.

I dropped by to watch, to take photos, and to provide moral support. I knew most of the workers and so it was great to be able to give them a little moral support.

Here are some photos:

Bamboo poles support the wood for the ceiling
Re bar above the wood
Mixing cement
carrying cement to the upper floor

Carrying the cement to the re bar
Pouring cement around the re bar

smoothing the concrete
the building is below and beside the soccer field
working on stairs to the second floor as well
Making tortillas

This project is being financed by the monetary donations of members of the parish of Dulce Nombre, their volunteer work, funding from Adveniat (a German Catholic aid agency), and donations from St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center.

More funding will be needed to finish the second floor as well as to build more facilities for housing parishioners when they come to the parish center for training sessions.

I have updated many photos of the work in a set on flickr: here.


Tyrone Speelman said...

It is heartwarming that the church members were united in a constructing a building in their parish. Looking at these pictures, I can see the enthusiasm of the people. I hope you can post the pictures of the finished building. Great buildings can be established even with minimal funding, as long as we work together.

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

Updated photos can be seen in this Flickr set:
I am continually updating. The parish hopes to have this building - kitchen and dining hall on the bottom floor and meeting area on the second floor - all done by September.