Getting Our Rocas Off

Construction begins for the Los Técnicos crew in Columbia

Construction begins for the Los Técnicos crew in Columbia.

Before the foundations of the guest house and the office began to take shape, Fredy, Josue and I stood at the door of a dark and apparently abandoned campesino house. We had arrived in Colombia from Guatemala with all of our construction gear packed into an eclectic mix of suitcases and duffle bags.

The silence amongst us was palpable from the natural tension of being in a new place with new people. We were the first three of what would soon be thirteen full time staff and countless volunteers to work on a major project undertaken by Los Técnicos construction company.

 

Capturing the rapid growth of tire walls in Columbia with a majestic view of the surrounding area.

Capturing the rapid growth of tire walls in Columbia with a majestic view of the surrounding area.

In the days that followed, that dark house was illuminated by an ambitious and determined group dedicated to a distinctly sustainable mode of construction. The byproducts of consumer society, destined for landfills, were instead to be used as vital building materials for five structures never before seen in Colombia. Tires packed with earth were filled in by plastic bottles stuffed with trash. A multicolored constellation of glass bottles halved and bound, end to end with tape, provided decoration and lighting. On every level of the build, material waste was being re-purposed into the fabric of homes that are not only sustainable, but preferable to live in.

 

The city most directly affected by this Las Rocas project in Colombia, is where six of the crew call home. Los Técnicos Chixot Education Center in San Jaun Comalapa, Guatemala will receive one hundred percent of the revenue from the construction and is built in an identical manner. The combined effort of the construction company, an offshoot of the school project, directly benefits the community that these several crew members hail from.
The author (forefront) takes a break from writing to shovel a little dirt.

The author (forefront) takes a break from writing to shovel a little dirt.

 

From the beginning of two Chapines and a Gringo standing in a darkened doorway, to the completion of a sustainable home in Colombia, the cycle of education of education, employment, and ecological stewardship continues. Siempre adelante!

Rusty Shorey
Los Técnicos Crew Member
Choachi, Columbia

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