Cities for all

Year Execution: 
El Salvador
Organization in Charge: 
Movimiento Africa (MA)
Nº of Families helped: 

20 incremental houses were built on land donated by the Municipality of Sonsonate. Dwellings are constructed with wooden pallets obtained from local industries and recycled by MA. Modular prototypes allow for further growth in a flexible way, in order to adapt to the needs of each family. Design is based on concepts such as self-building, recycled materials, climate friendliness, low cost and durability. Families participated in the planning sessions of their new settlement and helped design their homes. They also took part of construction together with skilled workers and the professional staff of the NGO. MA helped the group to strengthen their organization and to self-manage the project. Workshops were also organized on self-building for families and external help. During these sessions participants built the first house as a learning model so they could later handle practical and technical aspects of the building process. The 20 houses are now completed. Families obtained certificates that guarantee legal land ownership. An event was organized to inaugurate the new settlement with all actors involved in the different phases of the project. MA will publish a handbook about self-building and prepare a video to disseminate the project´s outcomes. The Municipality plans to hand over to the community the responsibility to manage additional land for collective public use, so that they can plant communal gardens and green areas, and construct a community centre. Other nearby municipalities that know about the project now will replicate this experience. The project has shown to public entities in charge of social housing in El Salvador that it is possible to build good and affordable housing when communities are involved.