DC Habitat Board & Staff Visit Build Sites in Nicaragua

DC Habitat Staff & Board Members Alongside a Homeowner in Nicaragua.

DC Habitat Staff & Board Members Alongside a Homeowner in Nicaragua.

On November 7, representatives from eight U.S. Habitat for Humanity affiliates traveled to Nicaragua to take part in the first Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua Summit – a meeting of those affiliates tithing, or contributing funds, to Habitat’s operations in the Central American nation. The group spent time in the capital city of Managua and the coastal town of Masachapa, where they helped build homes in a local community.

Nicaragua is a country characterized by great needs:  it is the second-poorest nation in Central America after Haiti; nearly 80 percent of the population earns less than $2 per day; and one-third of Nicaraguan children die before age 10 because they lack adequate food, water, sanitation and healthcare.

Habitat for Humanity of Nicaragua is working to provide comprehensive housing, water and sanitation solutions to thousands of families around the country.  Summit participants, including three of DC Habitat’s Board members, visited several of Habitat Nicaragua’s project sites, including a new water distribution system servicing nearly 1,300 residents of the LaGallina community.

Board Member John Didiuk working on a build site.

Board Member John Didiuk working on a build site.

Though poor in possessions, the Nicaraguan people are rich in spirit.  Local families smiled as they worked diligently alongside volunteers, and children performed song and dance for the group of summit participants.

“I found this trip to be rewarding on so many levels,” said DC Habitat Board member Debbie Erb. “Obviously there is no substitute for digging trenches and hauling aggregate side-by-side with the future homeowner and her family.  But the opportunity to engage and bond with a wide variety of Habitat supporters – Board members, staff and volunteers from around the US, as well as the local team – was highly educational and motivational for me.”

Debbie Erb joined fellow Board members John Didiuk and Leila Finucane, and staff member Heather Phibbs, on the trip to Nicaragua.