We’ve now built 26 holistic communities in four countries. In nearly all of them, we’ve experimented with new housing solutions. However, there are a few parts of our process that we always practice when we build: trusted partners, inclusive design, and local sourcing.
In September 2017, a massive earthquake devastated much of Mexico. With poor infrastructure, corruption, and few fighting on their behalf, many in the community had lost hope of regaining a sense of normalcy. Now, things are changing. Families who have been living under tarps will soon receive safe, stable homes. Eight-year-old Vanessa is one member of the community who’s been dreaming about her home for months. She and her family participated in a workshop where they got to offer input on the design of the community, and soon they’ll be moving into the home they helped create.
Ahuachapán, El Salvador
On a recent vision trip to Ahuachapán, El Salvador, we met a young artist named Elvin whose new home means more to him than most. He had a serious medical condition, life-threatening if he didn’t travel the long distance to a hospital every day to receive dialysis. When building Elvin’s new home, our local partners built an additional space specifically designed for his care. Recently, Elvin began to create art again and is working with New Story on community beautification projects in El Salvador.
La Herradura, El Salvador
Ana Patricia lives in one of our El Salvador communities. She and her husband lived in a house made out of small sticks and galvanized metal for about 15 years. After moving into her new home, Ana Patricia expanded her business from just a few items to a thriving store next to her house to serve her community. Her store sells snacks, sodas, pantry items, and household items like toilet paper. Now, while feeling more secure, she’s also able to sleep better and has seen many of her health conditions lessen. “I’ve just never had a home like this.” She hopes to expand her store in years to come.
Ahuachapán, El Salvador
With a stable home providing their family with more space and time, the Martinez Contreras family quickly made the most of their new belongings by starting a bakery. As the first family-run business to come out of Ahuachapán 2, they have shown us the multiplying factor of stability by uniting their entire community through their hard work. Last time we visited, we were able to taste the fruits of their labor and we can promise you— home has truly never tasted so good.
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