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Global View: Hábitat para la Humanidad México

Posted: 2009-02-27 11:47:39

  Habitat affiliates in the United States tithe 10% of all undesignated funds to Habitat International as part a of global ministry, selecting the country their tithes support. North St. Louis County partners with Habitat México.

Although Mexico has a growing economy; more than half of the Mexican population currently does not have economic means for buying or constructing adequate housing. It was not until 1983 that the right to housing even became a constitutional right and was considered a human right.

Of the employed population (about one third of Mexicans), seven million earn less than the minimum wage. Ten million make less than two minimum wages a day. This means that more than half of Mexico’s employed population makes US $30 dollars a month or less. Yet these workers support half of the nation’s families.

The Mexican government estimates that one million families live in substandard housing, but these calculations do not include the many families who rent rooms or live cramped inside another family member’s home, as do many of the families with whom HFH partners. When considering these families, HFH México estimates that the housing need rises to a staggering two million families, or about 10 million people.

To address overwhelming housing statistics like these, Habitat for Humanity began working in the communities of Dexthi Alberto, Chihuahua, and San Pedro Capula, Hildago in 1988. Habitat has since developed a more extensive presence that today covers 17 states and is one of the largest Habitat programs in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Habitat México has built/rehabilitated 19,612 homes in its 20 year history.

Habitat México builds in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. The average house is completed in roughly three weeks, measuring between 42 to 49 m². In pliance with urban housing code requirements, Habitat houses in cities measure the minimum 60 m² and have electrical and plumbing installations.

Construction materials vary from region to region. In order to reduce the cost of the homes, Habitat México utilizes local materials whenever possible. Roofs may be built with galvanized zinc or reinforced concrete, and walls consist of clay bricks, adobe or concrete blocks. Materials also vary depending on the area’s climate and susceptibility to earthquakes and hurricanes. Habitat México homes cost on average US$5,930.

Tithes from NSLC Habitat totaled $21,679 last year, building 3 1/2 homes in Mexico. In 2004 and 2007 NSLCHF tithed a house for a house, meaning that for every home built in North St. Louis County another home was built in Mexico.

NSLC Habitat feels particularly connected to the beautiful, resilient people and dynamic culture of Mexico, because our executive director, Nathan Thompson, grew up in Guadalajara Mexico. Thank you for prayerfully and financially supporting NSLC Habitat and, through our tithes, Habitat México.

Material adapted from Habitat Int’l