Thank you for your support of project “architect unseen” and the February work trip to El Salvador. It is my hope that this is only the beginning of something bigger, a campaign that will bring awareness to the unseen side of architecture where architects are using their skills to build stronger communities. This project will serve as a resource for architects in search of a way to give back.
We can provide support for those that do not have the resources to build or rebuild. This is not accomplished by building it for them, but empowering them to do it for themselves. Lao Tzu said it best: “Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.”
Seven years ago, El Salvador was hit by earthquakes and today, an organization has created a program that empowers the people of El Salvador to rebuild their communities. I will be working alongside the mason, the framer, the roofer, the painter from El Salvador and following their lead. I look forward to witnessing a successful program, one that could somehow happen in the Haitis of this world.
It is difficult to fully express my gratitude to for the many different ways that family, friends, and colleagues have provided support in this project. Many have offered much needed encouragement, several have pledged a donation for the fundraiser, a few have provided great advice for running training, and others have provided good direction for the blog, challenging me to find focus. I am grateful to be starting this journey with you by my side.
A few special Thank Yous:
Family: On Thanksgiving Day, my sister proposed something different for Christmas this year. “We don’t need more things – what do you say that instead of exchanging gifts this year, we make a contribution to Architect Unseen – project El Salvador?” Thank you, family, for this generous idea.
Friends: Without your words of encouragement and generous donations toward the running fundraiser, it would be much more difficult to stay motivated. It is good to have you to lean on.
Colleagues: Every challenging question has pushed this project toward a clearer definition of purpose. Referrals have been proven invaluable. With this, I’d like to thank a few local professionals who have extended services in one form or another:
Catalyst: Thank you Jim for your running analysis and referrals http://catalystmadison.com/
Mindful Motion: Thank you Nathan for your exercise therapy suggestions for running http://mindfulmotionphysicaltherapy.com/
PR Chicago: Thank you Toni for your thoughtful questions http://www.prchicago.com/
Regrets for having missed anyone in this post, we’ll be sure to mention in the next.