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In David’s workshop, resource and imagination collide

November 21, 2009






—With two children, Raquel of 18 years and Marial of four, the Fonseca Gómez family is an example in their community. The head of household, “Don David” is has an observant demeanor and a quiet sense of focus.

David has worked as a house painter, a cook and a public speaker. “Whatever job,” he says, “I’ll learn it and do it with joy.”

The family has continued to improve upon their home since building it in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica in 2005.

At the time, they were unable to secure a bank loan, which often requires stacks of paperwork that can be inaccessible and impossible to navigate.

“I was stunned when I called Habitat, because they only asked us for a few documents. A few weeks later, they phoned and said that we would need to prepare our lot because volunteers would be coming to help us build our home. I couldn’t believe it. With every brick, every row that we finished, I became more and more excited. I would say to myself… my house is almost ready.”

As soon as they moved into their new home, David installed a small workshop, where his resourceful character collided with his quiet imagination. In addition to painting, David uses natural and recycled materials to produce works of art—including what he recovers from garbage on the side of the road. He uses eggshells, dry wood, discarded leather, feathers, and even coffee grounds. No one ever taught him how to paint, he explains. As with other jobs, it’s just something he picked up.

In this workshop, David has produced hundreds of pieces of art, which he sells for an average of US$50 a piece. Many times, the extra income has carried his family through months of unemployment.

It has been two years since David and his wife made the final payment on their Habitat home. Habitat Costa Rica estimates that with the improvements that they have been able to make over the last five years, the value of the house has increase from US$15,000 (the original cost of the home) to US$60,000.

The Fonseca García family represents a clear example of vision, determination and, above all, how with a little support and resolve great dreams can be achieved.

Story courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica.