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Japa Housing Project: August Update

The decision to hire a full-time assistant for Gustavo meant that work progressed quickly this month. Following the advice of the architect, the support columns were made 100% thicker. An official also inspected the site and said that if the Japas ever wish to add a second story, they must first build a retaining wall. This adds to the cost of the project but because of the extreme terrain, it is an important-enough safety feature that the decision was made to build it now.

The columns have been reinforced and made thicker.

The retaining wall requires the digging even deeper, bigger holes, but Salvador was able to rent a smaller jackhammer from a local business. It costs less to rent, does not require a security deposit and actually works better than the one he had been using before. The wall will be made of stone and concrete.

Salvador in one of the new holes

When the foundation and retaining wall is finished the work will progress very rapidly. All of the materials for the floor, roof and upright pillars of the housestructure have been purchased. The joists and pillars will be made of welded steel, overlaid with corrugated steel sheeting. The photo below shows these materials being used in the construction of another house in Chilcapamba.

An example of the materials that will be used to build the Japas’ floors and ceilings.

The foundation and basic structure should be completed within two weeks. The funds collected by Ancient Origins will also be depleted then, but other donors in the United States have indicated an interest in helping to finish the house. A local business man who owns a metal-working company has offered to donate materials. We will be able to provide a list of the materials (doors, windows, roof tiles, etc.) that will be necessary. And another minga will be held to lay the brick walls, perhaps in September!

Rocio Illescas prepares a factura for the contractor’s assistant.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this project! To make a donation to the Japa Housing Project Click Here and specify “Japa Housing Project” when you “make a contribution amount of your choice.”


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