June 3, 2011
On Sunday, May 29, 2011, the keys to 25 new homes were handed over to families in the La Gallina community of Nicaragua. The families are part of a 50-house Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua project, carried out in partnership with six other organizations.
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (June 3, 2011) – The first 25 low-income families, the majority women heads-of-household, to be served by the La Gallina project in San Rafael del Sur, Managua, received the keys to their new homes. Local authorities and participating organizations were present at the inaugural event that took place in the community on May 29, 2011.
In July of 2010, Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua , along with six other partners, launched the project, “Replacing 50 houses in La Gallina”. The project seeks to reduce the number of homes in the community that are in dire need of replacement, improving housing conditions for 50 low-income families through the construction of simple, 36 square-meter homes of reinforced adobe construction.
The “La Gallina” community is made up of 280 homes of salvaged wood, plastic, cardboard and rusted pieces of corrugated tin. Most have dirt floors, and during the rainy season water seeps through the improvised roofs and poorly-constructed walls. In the dry season, the heat and dust becomes unbearable in these tiny, five square-meter living spaces.
According to FUNDESONIC and the local government, the housing deficit in San Rafael del Sur is at 6,730 units – 4,292 of which are quantitative and 2,438 qualitative. As with the national deficit, there are six main causes for inadequate housing: residents who lack sufficient economic resources, limited access to basic services such as water and sanitation, lack of territorial planning, issues with legal ownership of land, and few technical construction skills among a fast-growing population of families who—due to their lack of economic resources—tend to build their own housing.
The cost of each new construction in La Gallina is a scant US$3,460. Financing for the project is provided by donations to Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua , the local municipal government in coordination with the Nicaraguan Institute of Urban and Rural Housing (INVUR), the Nicaraguan Shipping Consortium (Navinic), Cemex Nicaragua and the American-Nicaraguan Foundation. Families receiving homes in the La Gallina community participated actively in the construction of their homes.
Throughout the construction of the first 25 homes more than 98 local volunteers supported the project, the majority high school and university students. Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua  offers Nicaraguan youth the opportunity to volunteer in their local communities and help others to achieve a better quality of life. The events were promoted at www.habitatnicaragua.org  and on Facebook www.habitatnicaragua.org.ni .
Sandra del Carmen Ampie Guevara, 29 years-old and one of the first mothers to receive the keys to her new home, said that she felt “very grateful to God, Habitat and all of the Habitat volunteer teams that worked to build my house. I feel blessed. I am going to be able to enjoy a decent house that I never thought I would have… with the little that I earn, I would never have been able to do it. This is a dream come true.”
In addition to house construction, Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua offers Financial Education  workshops, in which families learn how to manage their income, prioritize expenses, create a budget, build up good credit and develop a savings plan—key steps in achieving long-term financial security.
Photo: Sandra del Carmen Ampie Guevara receives the keys to her new house from Frank Matus-Aguirre, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua.
About Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean
Habitat for Humanity  first opened its doors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 1979, and has since helped more than 100,000 low-income families to access adequate housing in the region. Headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Latin America and Caribbean regional office coordinates the efforts of 16 national organizations, as well as unique partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit habitatlatino.org .
Learn more  about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.