Habitat for Humanity Mexico
Habitat's work in Mexico
Housing need in Mexico
Although Mexico has a strong economy; more than half of the Mexican population currently does not have economic means for buying or constructing adequate housing. Of the employed population (about one third of Mexicans), 7 million earn less than the minimum wage. Ten million make less than two minimum wages a day. This means that more than half of Mexico’s employed population makes US$30 dollars a month or less, yet these workers support half of the nation’s families.
Government estimates state that one million families live in substandard housing, but these calculations do not include the many families who rent rooms or live cramped inside another family member’s home, as do many of the families that Habitat for Humanity serves. When considering these families, Habitat for Humanity Mexico estimates that the housing need rises to a staggering two million families, or about 10 million people.
Habitat for Humanity in Mexico
In 1988, Habitat for Humanity began working in the communities of Dexthi Alberto, Chihuahua, and San Pedro Capula, Hildago. Once it was legally constituted as a Civil Organization in 1990, it developed a more extensive presence that today covers 17 states and is one of the largest Habitat programs in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Habitat México builds in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. The average house is completed in roughly three weeks, measuring between 42 to 49 m². In compliance with urban housing code requirements, Habitat houses in cities measure the minimum 60 m² and have electrical and plumbing installations. By 2013 Habitat Mexico has given over 42,000 housing solutions in benefit of over 210,000 people.
Construction materials vary from region to region. In order to reduce the cost of the homes, Habitat Mexico utilizes local materials whenever possible. Roofs may be built with galvanized zinc or reinforced concrete, and walls consist of clay bricks, adobe or concrete blocks. Materials also vary depending on the area’s climate and susceptibility to earthquakes and hurricanes.
Habitat for Humanity Mexico supports several initiatives, in addition to traditional home construction.
Financial education: This project is aimed at educating and accompanying partner families in the planning and administration of their home economy. The manuals and methodology used are the result of a project designed by Habitat for Humanity International and financed by Citigroup. Through a series of workshops, families learn to administer their income and expenses, and learn to design a budget, analyze and control their expenses, and follow a savings plan. Families are also informed about the risks and advantages of taking out loans with HFHM or other organizations.
Technical counseling in construction: it is a system of implementation designed to stimulate, orient and support the families in the auto production of adequate houses, through a progressive process. This project accompanies in an integral way the financial products.
Complete houses: In addition to the projects above, Habitat for Humanity Mexico continues to build complete homes. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, helping to build their houses and the houses of others, together with volunteers. Their monthly payments go into a Local Rotating Fund, which allows the construction of new homes.
Women moving the world: It is the first project focused in promoting the access to adequate housing for single mothers, influencing the training of abilities and values which allows them to be the protagonists of their own development, making an impact in the vision the communities have about women’s role.
Improved kitchens for healthy housing: in Mexico 27 million people use wood kitchens, the use of wood for cooking is associated with 1,9 million deaths each year around the world. The option of having a stove that is wood efficient helps families diminish the wood use, eliminates the smoke in the kitchen, improves the health and life quality, and keeps the kitchens safe, clean and comfortable.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.