Welcome to Tenosique!

Here is where we’ll keep you updated on your community’s progress.

Mexico Overview

Population: 116 million
Language: Spanish
Religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 80 years (women)
Currency: Peso (MXP)
GNI per capita: $8,610

(Tenosique’s location is roughly pictured above. In order to respect the privacy of the families we serve we don’t give out exact coordinates of the location)

People settled in the area now known as Tenosique as early as 1000 BC. Tenosique has strong roots in Mayan culture and the etymology of its name is “house of weavers” in the Mayan language.

Tenosique is a small town located in the Tenosique Municipality in the southeast corner of the state of Tabasco, Mexico. About 60,000 people live in the greater Tenosique area. The community is tight-knit and has only grown by 5,000 people in the last 20 years. This is most likely due to its remote location and lack of urbanization.

The municipality is remote and its main street runs along the beautiful Usumacinta river which features lush tropical views and deep blue water. The land where the community is being built is on the eastern outskirts of the city about 2 miles from the river and downtown. The land is surrounded by grass and has great access to roads and public transportation to and from town.

Updates to come below!

Keep up to date with progress on the community update feed below where we will post updates, pics and more. We will post updates as soon as we receive them from our field team and local partners. Expect an email from us once a month sharing more in-depth stories and updates on our progress, delays, victories and more!

July 22, 2020

All 150 homes are completed, but COVID-19 delays the remaining service installations.

Since we negotiate with the government to install water and electrical services in each home, we are in a waiting period as COVID-19 makes the process slower than normal. We are hoping to complete services in the next couple of months.

February 10, 2020

We’re back to building!

Mexico underwent a federal election last year, and a change in administration meant a shifting of funds and relationships for our work there. After some months of relationship-building, we’re proud to say, we’re beginning 2020 with subsidies and a construction timeline quicker than we could have imagined for the families in Tenosique.


May 14, 2019

Government subsidies are still unavailable

Here is our partner Ivan, COO of Echale, discussing subsidies with government officials.  At this time, we are still not sure when these subsidies will be approved but we may need to wait until 2020 funds are available. This is frustrating as we are so far along with this community but this is part of working with governments at various points in the election cycle. We will share updates once we know more.

April 26, 2019

Services are 70% completed!

70% of the homes are now connected to water and power! We are getting so close to move-in we can almost taste it! Unfortunately, service installation is temporarily delayed while we gather additional funds from the government. The Federal Government agreed to subsidize the cost of these homes and part of that includes services. Because of the recent election, we now have to get these funds reapproved by the new administration. Our local partner is planning to meet with government officials to see when we can get access to these funds.

March 5, 2019

Rain Delays… Services starting soon!

Due to some heavy rain in early February, our local team was unable to finish the last home block by the expected date. This is a common yet minor delay but it has larger implications for the whole project. Because of the delay, we had to reschedule visits from the government agencies installing power which could set us back a few weeks. We are so grateful to the local municipality for working with us on this project and hope to start work on services once things dry up.

February 25, 2019

Windows are being installed

Homes are nearly complete, windows are being installed and preparations for services are being made. Government agencies will come to install plumbing and electricity in the community and then families will be ready to move-in. In this picture below you can clearly see how the home designs have come to life and they look fantastic!

February 6, 2019

Final home blocks are under construction

In this image, the hands point to the last home blocks that need finishing. The block in the top right corner is about halfway complete and the rest have been roofed and are ready for services to be installed! Services often take the most time to install because there is a lot of coordination required with the government. Mexico went through a national election in 2018 and a new administration has started as of January 1. We are hoping for a smooth transition but we aren’t quite sure what to expect as this is our first batch of communities in Mexico.

January 14, 2019

Tenosique has come a long way since 2018!

Happy New Year! A lot of progress has been made since our last update of 2018. This aerial shot looks almost nothing like the last we shared and now you can see the community design taking shape. The community roads and public spaces have been carved out and most of the homes in these blocks are almost finished. Roofs are being painted a nice red and the last homes are about to start.

December 3, 2018

Making the most during rain delays

We are a little over a month into construction and it’s been a tough week because of heavy rains. Fortunately, despite construction being paused, the team has been able to work on the soil to begin digging foundations for the next group of homes. You can see the progress the team has made clearing land on the other side of the first block of homes.

November 16, 2018

Clear Skies = Fast Progress

We have had a few weeks of good weather and we are making quick progress! Here are some more pictures of the construction and some aerial shots of the land with the first homes going up. This will look a lot busier once work begins on the rest of the land.

October 26, 2018

Construction Begins

Currently, it is the rainy season in this region of Tabasco and it has been raining heavily so construction could not start last week as planned. Luckily the skies have cleared up and we were able to start construction this week on 10/22! The ground is still very wet but not enough to stop us. Here is our progress after a week of work!

October 1, 2018

Preparing for Construction!

The local contractor has been working the soil and preparing the land to build the first group of homes! The first foundations are being dug and we are aiming to start construction on 10/15. This community will have 150 homes which is one of the larger communities we will build. Because of the large plot of land, we will be working on blocks of homes at a time which means we will start construction on the first block of homes before all the foundations are dug.

Community & Home Design

Community & Home Design


On this plot of land, we will be funding and building 150 homes most of which are for those that were affected by the 2017 earthquake. This is part of a community of 500 homes that we are building with local developers. The government provided this land for us to help get earthquake reconstruction started for Tenosique and we are grateful for it! Land that meets our standards can be incredibly hard to find. Specifically, we only build on land within 10-15 minutes of where families currently live, with adequate access to public transportation and infrastructure. We are careful not to build communities where families wouldn’t want to live or where they might not thrive.

Community Design:

Here we have the final design for the community of Tenosique. The homes are clustered in blocks around the community center to create a safe visible space for kids to play and for the community as a whole to gather.

New Story works with a fabulous team of volunteer urban designers who help us create designs like the one above. Our designers create a few options we present them to the future home recipients for feedback in our Lean Participatory Design Session. The design above is the result based on the feedback the community gave on the initial designs. It is key to our process that the families have a say in how their community is built, since they know the area best and will be living there for generations to come.

Home Design:

The homes in Tenosique will cost New Story $5,989 to build which is the lowest of any community we are working on in Mexico. This is because the federal government has agreed to subsidize $3,800 per home in order to get the project underway. Each home will have two main bedrooms, a living room with a kitchen, and an indoor toilet with plumbing.