2011 Lent Build

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2011 Lent Build: Reflecting, Building, Celebrating

Lent is a spiritual period, lasting 40 days, which is celebrated by historical churches in El Salvador and around the world.  Some of the practices during this liturgical time include prayer (to grow closer to God) and solidarity with one’s neighbors.  Here at Habitat for Humanity El Salvador, we do not rest in our efforts to support low-income families.  In this sense, Lent provides an opportune time to promote solidarity and sweat equity.

In 2010 we held our first Lent Build.  More than 30 national and international volunteer teams supported the Getsemaní community in the construction of 30 houses, in honor of Monseñor Romero’s legacy on the 30th anniversary of his martyrdom.  This successful event included much more than the construction of homes, as it was also the launching of the Strengthening the Getsemaní Community Project and also promoted the right to other basic needs, such as health and employment.

We hope that the second Lent Build will be equally successful, as we celebrate the second year of the Strengthening the Getsemaní Community Project.  This construction event will give volunteers, masons, and the community an opportunity to put their faith into action by helping to build 15 homes for families in need.  There will also be opportunities to participate in other community service activities.

We invite churches and other national and international organizations to join us at the 2011 Lent Build, where we will…

Reflect Upon:

  • The importance of adequate shelter for a dignified life.
  • Holistic, community-based initiatives to break the cycle of poverty.
  • How to unite and act in solidarity.


  • Decent homes for low-income families.
  • Relationships with both national and international churches and other organizations as part of the Strengthening the Getsemaní Community project.
  • The Kingdom of God on earth, by collaborating with a low-income community with big dreams.


  • The experience of solidarity with our neighbors as one of God’s commandments.
  • The advances of the Strengthening the Getsemaní Community project.
  • Unity with the body of Christ, through the service of our national and international counterparts.



We hope to host 15 national and 15 international volunteer construction teams, working together in love and solidarity with their neighbors.  We will welcome volunteers from El Salvador and other parts of the world, with groups coming from churches, academic institutions, businesses, Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other organizations.


Volunteers will work alongside professional masons and the partner family members in the construction of 15 seismic-resistant, concrete-block houses. Tasks may include digging the foundation, mixing mortar, sifting sand, moving materials and painting.

Families will obtain a loan through Habitat El Salvador, which will finance the construction of their homes.  As families pay the loan back, they will be contributing to the construction of more houses for needy families.  Given the level of poverty of the partner families in Getsemaní, a portion of the cost of construction will be subsidized so that their monthly payments are affordable.

There will also be opportunities for volunteers to become involved in other components of the project.


For the second year in a row, Getsemaní will be hosting the event.  The symbolism could not be more powerful, as Getsemaní — or Gethsemane — is the name of the garden in Jerusalem where Jesus and his disciples prayed before Jesus’ crucifixion.


The event will last seven weeks — the six weeks of Lent and also Easter week — from March 7th until April 22nd.

Work Week 1 Marzo 7 –12
Work Week 2 Marzo 14 – 19
Work Week 3 Marzo 21 – 26
Work Week 4 Marzo 28 –  Abril 2
Work Week 5 Abril 4 – 9
Work Week 6 Abril 11 – 16
Work Week 7 Abril 18 – 22


You can participate in a number of ways by:

  • Organizing a volunteer team to participate in a week of construction.
  • Promoting the Lent Build at your church, school, workplace, etc.
  • Raising funds for the sponsorship of one house.
  • Reflecting on the cause of decent housing in El Salvador
  • Praying on behalf of the partner families and those in need of decent housing.

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