During the period 2003 – 2016, the Rotary clubs of Lakewood Foothills and South Jeffco engaged students in the Construction program at Warren The High School in Lakewood to build two-room single-story frame housing sections as part of their work projects for the semester/year. Initially, the pre-fab sections were used to create houses 11’ wide, 22’ long and 8’ high. In 2012, the sections sizes were increased to provide houses 30’ long, so a kitchen and bathroom could be included.
The area involved in Juarez is one of the most impoverished communities in Mexico, where the children have no place to play, receive an education, or live with any degree of comfort. Prior to occupying the houses our clubs provide, the families exist in shelters constructed of any scrap materials available, such as wood pallets, cardboard, plastic sheeting and scrap lumber. Heavy rains, such as those in 2006, devastated the many flimsy shacks that dominate the area from where the families come, wiping them out, and drowning several persons in the process.
The Lakewood Foothills, South Jeffco, and Denver Clubs have borne the majority of the costs for constructing and transporting the pre-fab sections to Mexico. A funds transfer and other much-appreciated contributions have helped substantially.
Once the completed pre-fabricated house sections arrive in El Paso, Texas and are transported to Juarez, Mexico, the Campestre Rotary Club in Juarez – COMPRIZED SOLELY OF 18 WOMEN – selects the location of each house and the family that will occupy it. Club members, their husbands, friends, members of families selected, and contractors as necessary, erect the houses and make them livable. This includes pouring a concrete pad ahead of time and adding plumbing, windows and electricity for the houses, once each is erected.
With retirement of the construction program’ instructor at Warren Tech in 2016, and the space involved devoted to other uses at the school, it is no long able to construct houses for Rotary’s Mexico housing project. Fortunately, Colorado Homebuilding Academy has stepped up to fill the gap.