Temporary Shelter

Year Execution: 
Organization in Charge: 
TECHO-Bolivia (TB)
Nº of Families helped: 

TECHO-Bolivia (TB) built emergency housing (mediagua) in a poor neighborhood of Cotoca municipality, 17 km away from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Here, families survived in difficult conditions, but at the same time demonstrated will and energy to come together and look for resources to develop their settlement. They immediately agreed to the invitation of TB to organize the construction of temporary housing units in June. The houses are 18 m2 big and have a foundation of 12 stilts that raise them from the ground for protection from humidity, wild animals, insects and eventual floods. The mediagua is a low-cost shelter that can be easily transported from one place to another. TB adjusted the original design to better respond to local climate, which is very hot. The size of the windows was increased in order to facilitate air circulation inside the house. During the preliminary phase families cleared and leveled the land where their mediaguas would be installed. They also helped to download building materials and to move them to their lots, and contributed $ 86 to the project in three installments. TB called on university students to build the emergency houses, and arranged a meeting at which volunteers and families received basic instruction to initiate building. A total of 23 homes (20 of them funded by SELAVIP) were constructed. Each house was built by 7-10 volunteers and members of the respective family. "Learning by doing" training made possible for all participants to really understand how to build an emergency house and how important team-work is to achieve expected outcomes. Several initiatives are already identified to strengthen community-based organizations and to improve the social infrastructure within the settlement. TB will continue assisting the community and make sure that the development process becomes sustainable over time.