The 2020 hurricane season set a record for storms and tropical depressions including ETA and IOTA, two of the most devastating that entered the country from the Atlantic, causing flooding and destruction in Guatemala, Honduras and other Central American countries.
With the pandemic still in force, the rains, floods and landslides associated with these
events had a significant impact on the population, especially in the communities most vulnerable, leaving 2 million 423 thousand people affected and 1 million 782 thousand victims. (CONRED official data)
“For Banco Industrial, a joint and organized collaboration gives better results than individual efforts; for that reason, we answered the call of TECHO in Guatemala. Our precept to always go forward together is emphasized now, because we believe it is very important that families affected by the storms ETA and IOTA receive a permanent home as a refuge full of hope. With this contribution of 56 homes, we are achieving a vital development for the village of Chiachal.” Luis Lara, General Manager-Banco Industrial.
Given this reality and so many families who lost their belongings, Banco Industrial, Cementos Progreso and TECHO joined forces to bring hope to the Chiachal community, in Alta Verapaz, giving them the opportunity to build new homes and give a new start to their life story. The Co-Construction project “Building New Beginnings” consists of the first 56 homes that were recently inaugurated in that community.
The houses were built with the purpose of providing a definitive and quality housing solution to the affected families, under the methodology of work in network and with
panel block construction system, taking around 28 days of construction per each unit and with volunteer workdays from the participating institutions, neighbors and masons hired by TECHO and the Municipality of San Pedro Carchá, giving also the opportunity to generate new jobs.
This collaborative project between the leaders and families of the Chiachal area, Banco Industrial, Cementos Progreso, the Municipality of San Pedro Carchá and TECHO Guatemala will contribute to improving the living conditions of more than 212 people/ 56 FAMILIES, allowing them access to decent and permanent housing. «Solidarity is one of the most important values for us because it puts the human being first place. Given the events that occurred in Chiachal, we said, «we are here» and joined the community rebuilding efforts. this way, we implement our transcendent purpose which is, «To build together the country where we want to live», comments José Raúl González, CEO of Cementos Progreso.
Building New Beginnings
The “Building New Beginnings” project began on November 15, 2021, and ended in April this year and is mainly characterized by its spirit of collaboration together with the community of Chiachal and among the same allied companies and institutions,
united to give life to a new dream, to a hope that was intertwined as construction progressed.
The 36m2 houses have two rooms and a common area: basic services of energy through a solar panel, 1,100-liter rainwater harvesting system and a dry latrine. As part of the process and thanks to the joint work of HORCALSA, lime-producing company in Guatemala, lime-based paint was used to paint the homes. This innovation in painting stands out for its adherence, practicality, aesthetics and, mainly, accessibility, as it is a lower-cost solution than the traditional alternatives
Additionally, the project had financial support from Banco Industrial and Cementos Progreso, which totals Q1,500,000 each; technical support of the volunteer staff of TECHO in Guatemala, the work of teams and masons of the Municipality of San Pedro Carchá, Construfácil and of the same beneficiaries, to a total investment of Q 570,000.00.
The Talita Kumi organization acquired and handed over the plots of land to the families of Chiachal, also has a project underway for the construction of 48 additional homes, allowing to cover all families in need of housing in the community.
Disasters drive the development of countries to work and for this reason, the project «Building New Beginnings», through the co-construction of housing, allows addressing the harsh reality from a development approach focused on resilience and inclusion,
providing the opportunity to bring Guatemala closer to achieving the Goals of Sustainable development.
“Given the magnitude of those affected by ETA and IOTA, we knew from TECHO that there would be great challenges for the reconstruction of houses for the 2,696 families who lost everything, however our commitment was sustained and it was through the creation of alliances that this project could be carried out, which will be a new beginning for the 56 families reached.” – Diego Aguilar, General Director of TECHO Guatemala.
“The new house gives us hope, but mainly to our children, since after the storms we lost everything we had and we never thought to recover, however now we are in a much better house and with many moredreams to improve ourselves” Carlos Pop, beneficiary.
The Caserío Chiachal, of San Pedro Carchá in Alta Verapaz, was one of the communities most affected by the ETA and IOTA storms, displacing 105 families who had to move to shelters in other communities, before beginning the reconstruction.