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Mexicali Project Kicked Off

Casadepaja.org is proud of the fact that we kicked off a new build project this Saturday March 5th 2011 in Mexicali, BC Mexico.  We have been working with a small community church pastor over the last several months to manage the logistics of this project in Mexicali.

Trevor an I left Lakeside towards Calexico at 8:00 am where we park our car and then walk across the border to the city of Mexicali.  We arrived as expected at 10:00 am, we parked, walked to the border crossing and met Danian on the other side of the turnstiles.  Damian is a really nice person greeting us with a big smile and escorting us to his white van.  Trevor and I had not seen Damian since mid December when we scouted out the lot that we would be building on and the person whom we would be assiting.  we caught up on our walk to the van and then were off to exchange some dollars to peso for some local purchase we need to make that afternoon.

We picked up Damian's daughter from high school and then we went off to local Home Depot to get familiar with prices of supplies.  We got a few items, but the main mission was to price goods that we would need for the project and they compared to USA prices.  We will decide what items we might purchase in the USA and bring with us.  We spent a good hour pricing and we picked up a few items and we left the Home Depot of to Damian's Church where his wife was waiting for us so we could have lunch.

We arrived in their neighborhood Ejido Puebla which is located in the area of Nevo Mexicali  which is southeast of the border.  We arrived at the church and were welcomed by  Damian's wife.  Roberto the person whom we are building the house for also joined us for lunch. We had a great lunch of carne asada, chorizo, rice, beans, tortillas and salsa.

After lunch we went to the site and laid out our stakes so we could outline the foundation size and the preparation work that need to happen during the week prior to our return for the next weekend. The need to level the area, compact the area and then dig the footings we need. Next weekend we are going to work on the foundation, place all the re-bar that is needed for 8 M X 8 M structure that we will be building.

We return to the church which is about 2 blocks from the lot and worked on our list of activities and purchases that need to be made by next weekend. Once we completed that we headed back to the border crossing and arrived tot he border around 6:15 PM and said our good byes to Damian and his daughter. Trevor and I headed to the border crossing entrance and were glad to see a very short line. We crossed pretty quickly and were off to the parking lot by 6:45 PM. Trevor and I got some food and left Calexico back to Lakeside, we arrived home before 9:00 PM.

We had a great start to our project and Next weekend we really start the real work. We hope to bring some volunteers with us next weekend to help us and to learn how to build a simple load bearing straw bale house.
--
Harold Gottschalk
“That which is worthwhile is worth life’s wily journey.”