Today was the last work day in the Ahuachapan community. Though we were looking forward to the end of the work week, our hearts were heavy as we prepared to say good bye. This is the view we saw each day during the bus ride to and from the work site – I took this photo so as never to forget the view and what it represents to each and every one of us.
Those of us who rotated among the hard core “pit diggers” filtered into the hole for a final photo. My respect for manual labor has grown exponentially, my blistered hands will vouch for this.
We were surprised to learn that it takes the average mason and workers 7 weeks to complete a Habitat El Salvador home. The workers are paid when the house is complete, not hourly. Our presence on the site, in digging the septic pits alone, reduced that timeframe by two weeks. No wonder the masons where so happy to see us arrive!
The HFH El Salvador team threw us a going away party,complete with a barbecue feast and a Mariachi Band, including dancing. It was a fabulous afternoon with the families, workers, and local HFH team that made our trip possible.
Members of the Getsemani HFH El Salvador sewing project showed their wares for sale during the celebration. Many of us purchased local coffee to take home and others purchased quilts, jewelry, and other woven fabrics from the project ladies. They were so empowered by the work that they were able to sell to us.
After the good byes were said and the final hugs were given, our team spent the final hours of our day exploring another local village called Apaco. The community is known for it’s high quality fabrics and weaving. We watched intently as they worked the weaving machines.