Minimum Group Size: 30
Small villages in Yucatán are full with vulnerable homes. Many families do not have the money needed to build a solid house with a roof.
The economies of these small villages are based on the villagers catching, trapping, shooting, or growing their daily food. Even modestly paying jobs are difficult to attain. Therefore, it can take up to eight years for a family to build a concrete-block house—buying one block at a time as they can afford them.
When it comes to building a concrete roof, it is similar to barn-raising. Much help is needed in a short time to get the beams on the roof, raise and set the blocks on the beams, temporarily support the roof with wooden poles and then mix, lift, spread and trowel the wet concrete to cover the entire surface of the roof. Once the roof work is started, it has to be completed.
Mano Amiga provides all materials, tools, and labor. In a single day, a family receives a gift that will last for generations. The experience in Yucatán is intense. Each day is packed with a variety of meaningful activities from the construction work, to fellowship and fun in the kitchen, to thoughtful reflections, to common laughter when two people without a common language try to communicate, to quiet contemplation of creation.
This construction work uses only hand tools and muscles. We stay in a well-established church camp about 100 yards from the Gulf of Mexico and sleep in hammocks. Travel is by coach bus, across the Yucatán peninsula from Cancún to our temporary home in Chuburná—a small village northwest of Mérida. During a single mission trip, we typically construct four to ten roofs. We also have opportunities to meet and visit Mayan families.