Bolivia -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
Mario Damian works on a Habitat house in Cochabamba.
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia was established in 1985, in the La Paz department, in a community called Alto Beni, with the purpose of eradicating subhuman housing in Bolivia, by building decent, simple and economic housing.
HFH Bolivia works in eight places in the country: Alto Beni, El Alto, Oruro, Tarija, Cochabamba, Chimoré, Santa Cruz, Ichilo and San Julián, where it annually builds over 600 houses.
The program is currently tackling different projects, including the progressive house model, keeping in mind families with the greatest needs. As its name indicates, the progressive house is built in stages; rooms are added over time according to the family’s needs and ability to pay.
HFH Bolivia house models measure 54m² and 60m², and have three bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living-dining room. To build these houses, the following materials are used: bricks, cement, steel rods, and others, all first quality, in order to guarantee quality homes. Houses handed over by HFH Bolivia have electric and sanitary systems.
Habitat Bolivia is a member of Red Nacional de Asentamientos Humanos (RENASEH), instance which brings together Civil Society Organizations which promote housing human right.
Bolivia has a population of 8 million people, 3.2 million of which do not have access to potable water and sewage services.
Statistics also show that out of the total population, 58 percent of Bolivian families live in huts that do not meet the minimum living conditions, lacking basic services and sanitation. Thirty-one percent of homes accommodate three or more people per bedroom.
Also, approximately 38 percent of Bolivian homes are built with adobe (clay and straw) and 69 percent of houses have dirt floors. These homes, due to the materials used for their construction, are highly susceptible for the breeding of pests, like the vinchuca, which transmits the "Chagas" disease, an incurable neurological disease that kills those affected over the years. This insect that transmits the "Chagas" disease grows in common huts; however, it cannot live in brick and cement environments, which are the materials used in the houses built by Habitat for Humanity Bolivia.
Location: South America
Climate: humid and tropical to cold and semiarid (in the highlands)
Economy: industry based on mining, smelting, petroleum, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing and agriculture
Religion: predominantly Christian
Literacy: 82 percent
Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani