[Strawbale] BWB workshop in Anapra, Mexico

BWBNewsletter BWBNewsletter at lists....com
Wed May 14 02:30:55 CEST 2003

Straw-Bale, Low Income Housing Workshop - Anapra, Mexico
June 30th-July 9, 2003

Builders Without Borders announces a work experience opportunity in Anapra, 
a "colonia" of Juarez, Mexico.  In conjunction with Casas de la Cruz (a 
missionary group from Missouri, which has a 14 year history of community 
projects in Anapra) architect Alfred von Bachmayr, will lead an intensive 
ten day (8 work days) workshop to build a straw-bale home for a local 
family.  This is an opportunity to learn about natural building by doing, 
while experiencing life in this border community.

This workshop will include all stages of straw-bale construction beginning 
with site preparations, bale raising, window/door buck, bond beam and 
pallet truss installation, wall pinning and strapping, straw ceiling 
insulation, roof assembly, electrical wiring and earthen plastering.

BWB participants will interact daily with the family whose house is being 
built, work side-by-side with local Mexican builders and a group of college 
volunteers from St. Mark's Parish in Independence, Missouri.

Cost is $695, including meals, dorm-style housing and instruction by BWB 
facilitators who will be sharing the same housing.  The workshop offers 
participants the opportunity to interact with local residents, learn about 
building in challenged environments and impact the lives of our neighbors 
across the border.

Contact: Builders Without Borders to register at 505-895-5400, or for more 
information call Tyson Reed at 505-424-0673.

More About Builders Without Borders (BWB) and the Anapra Project:
BWB is a non-profit organization that began its operations in 1999 and 
consists of a group of natural builders concerned about housing people of 
need around the world.  Our mission is to increase the availability of 
affordable and sustainable, transitional and permanent housing around the 
world, in partnership with local communities.

One of Builders Without Border's goals is to train local builders to build 
their own shelter through cooperative building projects. We promote the use 
of straw, earth and other natural materials with the goal of decreasing the 
reliance on expensive and often unavailable alternatives.  We also 
recognize that such housing solutions will necessarily be as varied as the 
communities and individuals involved.  BWB is also creating a natural 
building handbook called, Building Without Borders, Sustainable 
Construction for the Global Village, for use in the field, with a variety 
of building techniques and options, and case studies of what has and has 
not worked, in past situations.  Ultimately our lessons will be shared 
freely on our web site www.BuildersWithoutBorders.org to educate about 
sustainable building technologies.  BWB also focuses on training programs, 
workshops and providing educational cross cultural experiences for volunteers.

The Anapra Project: The community of Anapra is along the border outside 
Juarez, Mexico and is the home of many families who have left their homes 
in other parts of Mexico and came to the area in search of a better 
life.  They live in houses made of discarded shipping pallets covered with 
tar paper and with uninsulated roofs.  Such homes are sweltering in the 
summer and freezing in the winter.  Straw bales, locally available for 
about $1 each, are proving to be a comfortable and affordable 
alternative.  Anapra alone has almost 20,000 residents and Juarez is home 
to more than 200 such "colonias" which are mostly inhabited by factory 
workers, working just south of the border.

BWB has assisted in the building of three homes for local families.  The 
houses are intended to demonstrate to the residents, how to build 
comfortable, well-insulated, low-cost homes out of natural and recycled 
materials.  They are designed to make use of passive solar heating and 
utilize shipping pallets to fabricate roof trusses.  The straw-bale walls 
rise from foundations made from tires, stone and broken concrete known as 
"urbanite."  The walls are finished with earthen plasters.

The continuing program incorporates micro-credit lending for economic 
development and home mortgages.  Recipient families are required to 
contribute time to building their homes and running community 
programs.  Employment for local community members is created building 
components for the houses and supporting building groups that come to 
Anapra.  The program is intended to build cross cultural relations while 
empowering a community through enterprise and the creation of comfortable 

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