In the last month a minga was held to dig holes and trenches to start building the foundation of the house. There were some difficulties first, in renting the hole-digging machine. It turns out one is not available, and even it one was, it probably wouldn’t have worked well with the electrical current available in the area. Instead, a jackhammer was rented for three days but only used for two because of heavy rain.
Two 2-foot deep trenches were dug, and six 4-foot deep holes. Two of the holes were through solid rock and one involved cutting out a tree trunk. It was extremely difficult work. The electrical power was not sufficient to run the jackhammer correctly. The workers had to keep stopping to allow it to cool down, and it could not be used during rain. The minga day, however was dry and comfortable.
Six volunteers and the contractor worked on the minga day. It was necessary to rent another jackhammer for an additional day, but because of a communication problem, Gustavo rented it on the day of the Japa’s eldest son’s confirmation Saturday. The work was done without the optimum number of volunteers, but the holes were finished and one of the supports was posts was installed.
For the month of July we plan another minga. Members of a Cuenca-based hiking club have offered to help. It will involve missing cement and installing more of the upright posts.
Below are photos from our June minga. To contribute to the Japa Housing Project, Click Here and specify “Japa Housing Project” upon your donation. Thank you for your support!
Salvador and Nelly cutting out tree roots to dig one of the support holes.
Gustavo Picón and Rocío Illescas work on a trench.
Volunteers Rick Ruzicka, Robert Lochow and Tom Larsen discuss the jackhammer.
Digging through solid rock
Nelly, Salvador, Gustaveo and volunteers Brian Buckner and Tom Larsen.