In rural communities throughout El Salvador, community centers are important multi-purpose spaces. This is where all the action happens: meetings, celebrations, weddings, religious holidays, workshops, medical clinics and many other activities. That is why it is oftentimes top priority on a community’s wish list.
Such is the case of Getsemaní Community, which has been dreaming about a community center for a long time. They currently meet at the president’s house or sometimes at the park, if it is not raining. Community leaders decided to move forward on this project last year, when they approached the Ahuachapán municipal government and requested support. To their delight, the municipal government did all the technical planning for the community center, including the building designs. Because of generous volunteer and financial support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, this project will not stop at the planning stage.
In April, the Getsemaní ADESCO, the Ahuachapán municipal government and Habitat El Salvador signed an agreement of cooperation for the construction of the community center. Getsemaní is contributing unskilled labor. The Ahuachapán municipal government is contributing land, 50% of the skilled labor, some tools and equipment as well as transportation. Habitat El Salvador (with financial support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans) is providing construction supplies, the remaining skilled labor, and some tools and equipment.
Construction began on May 7th. On May 9th we held a ground-breaking ceremony in which Ahuachapán mayor Rafael Morán participated. Two Habitat masons, two masons sponsored by the municipal government and seven community members will be helping with the construction daily. Thrivent volunteers have also been joining them. We plan to finish construction by the end of July, and the Getsemaní community is already looking forward to using this new space!
—Habitat El Salvador Team