HAND MADE HOUSES
THE FOLLOWING ECOLOGICAL HOUSES HAVE BEEN BUILT WITH RESPECT TO LOCAL TRADITIONS AND ACCORDING TO IMPROVED ANCESTRAL TECHNIQUES
My experience has taught me that the poorest have their own strengths: solidly rooted in their land; they love the little they possess, because that little cost them infinitely more pain and patience than the surplus wealth of the rich. It also taught me that short-term missions are the most viable options to help needy populations achieve durable self-sustaining solutions. Reason for bldg own house
In Mali in 1978, I coordinated the resettlement of 8 villages scheduled for inundation due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Later, I helped create a Center of Appropriate Technology to establish Mali National norms with respect to traditions to replace French construction norms.
In the 80s and 90s, I worked with joint UN- European Union missions in South and Central America, helping displaced people by earthquake in Colombia; by typhoon in Nicaragua, helping Jose and his friends running away from poverty and isolation in the Choco jungle at Panama’s border, to create ”la Nueva Escuela” a School for sustainable development. I also helped refugees uprooted by violence and war, returning in Guatemala from their miserable Mexican camps…
All these cases and more will be integrated around one particular project, a plan to resettle Tumaco: a small flat and crowded island town, with a long history of earthquakes, tsunamis and fires, located on Colombia’s Pacific Coast. After a mid 80s’ mission to promote wood in construction I helped design a flexible wooden house, and through self-help, 200 of them were built. In 1995, I was sent back to Tumaco on my first long term contract to help transfer 1,700 families, from their shaky coastal stilt houses onto the mainland, two kilometres away. I designed a home inspired by the local typology, which could grow in time.