In February we were delighted to have Ron B. Wilson, a volunteer from Photographers Without Borders (PWB), here for two weeks. In light of PWB’s mission to help NGOs see their projects, “through a new lens,” Ron spent his time capturing photos from every angle of Long Way Home - construction, teachers, students, Comalapa, and, as an interesting twist, the several family groups that we have connected here in our community. Many families have multiple members involved with the project, either through staff positions and/or having students that attend our school. Ron was a tremendous asset to our project and we will be sharing his photos with you throughout the summer. To begin, we’d like to show you a few incredible shots of our extended LWH family.
The Family of Romeo Apen Chirix
Romeo Apen is our construction foreman, and has been with Long Way Home since 2008. He has been a critical part of the team and to the work, from construction projects at Parque Chimiyá and Tecnico Chixot, all the way to our skills transfer project in South Africa in 2014. He lives with his mother, his wife and his 5-year-old son, Bryan, who has just started preschool with us!
Romeo has other connections to our project. His brother, a famous painter here in Comalapa, has two children who are also green builders here. His son, Julio, has been with Long Way Home since March of 2013 and his cheerful demeanor and strong work ethic have really been an asset to the squad. Roselia, Julio’s sister, just started to work with us a few months ago and is our third local, female builder! Together with Marta and Adelina, she is challenging assumptions about gender in a machismo culture. Romeo’s sister is the mother of Giovanny, who has also been a LWH green builder since 2013. Giovanny was married earlier this year and Ron, who is a wedding photographer when he’s not helping out nonprofits with small marketing budgets, was thrilled to take photos of he and Elsa that they will treasure for years to come. We are grateful for Romeo’s leadership and for all the talent he’s brought to the work site and now, the classroom!
The Family of Juan Raul Morales Sotz
Raul Morales, has been a dedicated green builder since 2012. He is a radiant energy around the construction site, especially with the volunteers. Raul lives just up the road with his wife and five kids, next door to his wife’s sister and her children. Raul has two of his children attending our school this year, Cindy, in 3rd grade, and Raulito, in preschool. His niece, Cecibel, is also in the 3rd grade here, and his nephew Gerber, attends preschool with his cousin. Raul says that he appreciates his job here because it teaches care for the environment and reduces contamination in the rivers and roads.
Early last year, Raul also brought on his cousin, Edwin, to become a green builder. Edwin has been an asset to both Técnico Chixot and Los Técnicos builds, and has technical design training. He is assisting another worker, Cristian, to draw up Adam’s building sketches into official schematic plans.
The Family of Maria Candelaria Gabriel Otzin
Maria’s family has been closely tied to Long Way Home since we assisted Earthship Biotecture with building their house in 2011. She is a single mother of four and works as a weaver. Her daughter, Josseline, in 8th grade, and youngest son David, in 2nd grade, have attended school here since 2012 and 2013 respectively. Her oldest son, the aforementioned Cristian, has worked as a green builder off and on for the last five years and recently began full-time, after competing his high school degree in technical drawing. We love having all of them as a part of our Técnico Chixot Family!