||PO Box 4233
|Nonprofit Technology and Management
||Austin TX 78765 USA
|Habitat for Humanity Morelos, Mexico
HFH Morelos was started in 1993 with International Partner Daniel Lopez.
He shared the vision, philosophy, and policies of Habitat with some community
leaders, who passed the message to other communities. So far, Habitat has
constructed over 200 houses in Morelos, providing more than 1500 men, women,
and children with simple, decent housing.
Return to housing home page.
|Overview of the state of Morelos
- The state of Morelos is located in central Mexico, southwest of Mexico
City. The capital is Cuernavaca.
- About 40% of the people in Morelos in "extreme poverty", many of them
in substandard housing conditions.
- Official minimum wage is roughly $5 per day. As much as half the work
force is in the informal sector, where wages may be even less.
- As many as 1 in 3 households have someone working in the United States,
where they can make more money to support their family.
- Morelos is the land of Emiliano Zapata, a leader for land reform in
the Mexican Revolution. (The modern Zapatista movement in Chiapas is
named after him.)
- Indigenous communities have hundreds of years of history of cooperative
projects such as irrigation systems. More recently, government programs
such as Solidarity have provided grants directly to community groups
for construction of infrastructure.
- The Diocese of Cuernavaca has been a strong center for Catholic base
communities, showing the influence of Vatican II and liberation theology.
- Roughly 60% of the housing stock is "self-constructed".
- Almost all construction is masonry - cement block, stone, and poured
concrete for individual homes, and tilt-up for apartment buildings.
- Substandard housing uses found materials, including wood, metal and
hard plastic sheets, and plastic tarps. In rural areas, families may
build walls of bamboo and branches, supporting a roof of pressed cardboard.
- In urban areas, families typically use bottled gas for cooking, and
municipal water and sewers may be available. In rural areas families
may cook over a wood or charcoal fire, with an outhouse and water hauled
from a community faucet.
|Habitat for Humanity Morelos - How It Works
- Habitat Morelos uses a chapter model.
- Communities apply to Habitat to be a chapter. They must have at least
10 potential homeowners who own their own land, and who meet the criteria
of need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.
- Habitat supplies the materials and helps arrange to borrow needed
- Homeowners work on each house in turn to complete one stage of construction
for all the houses. Then they move onto the next stage.
- The government assists with infrastructure, especially electricity
- A typical cost is 30,000 pesos (about $3,000), with a monthly payment
of 300 pesos (about $30).
|Habitat for Humanity's Tithe
- All Habitat affiliates, worldwide, "tithe" 10% of their income to
an affiliate in another country.
- Austin Habitat has designated their tithe to Morelos, Mexico, for
more than ten years.
- Since the cost of construction is so much cheaper in Mexico, this
means that for every house built in Austin, another house can be built
- Include Habitat for Humanity and the people of Morelos in your prayers.
- Learn more about the tithe and Habitat's work at www.habitat.org.
- Travel to Mexico with a Habitat work brigade. Contact
In May and June of 2003, Lisa Hinely
visited the state of Morelos, in central Mexico, with the Center
for Global Education. One of her areas of study was low-income housing.
She is available to present these topics to your organization, in lecture
format or as an interactive learning experience.