Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 13, 2013

Habitat El Salvador visits Kosciusko County branch

Goshen News

---- — WARSAW — Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County hosted Kendal Stewart, international donor relations coordinator, and Patricia de Arcia, volunteer coordinator, from Habitat para la Humanidad El Salvador earlier this week for an informational lunch at Tourmaline and gave a tour of the county.

As part of the tour, Stewart and Arcia met with Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer to talk about the work Habitat has done in El Salvador, building more than 8,000 homes and providing more than 6,000 housing solutions in the past 20 years; as well as attempt to convince him to be the first sitting mayor to participate on a build in El Salvador.

There remains a housing deficit of 400,000 units, approximately one out of every three Salvadorans live in poverty housing. The pair found downtown Warsaw “delightfully beautiful” and MudLove to be out of this world, buying up enough inventory for every co-worker in San Salvador.

The two also enjoyed the lakes.

As part of the Affiliate Covenant with Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County tithes 10 percent of unrestricted revenue to help fund international building with the goal of eradicating poverty housing across the globe.

Two years ago the board of directors in Kosciusko voted to direct the funds to El Salvador. Since then more than $8,850 has been tithed to El Salvador. In the prior 20 years Habitat of Kosciusko tithed $7,336. To put the tithe total in perspective, 20 homes have been built in Kosciusko County, another 5.6 homes have been built internationally via tithe, Habitat officials said.

The goal going forward for Habitat in Kosciusko is that for every home built within the county, a second home will be built in El Salvador, doubling the impact and helping to reduce the lack of decent shelter two families at a time.

Habitat works in El Salvador the same as in the United States and across the world. The constructed homes are sold to partner families and the mortgage payments from those homes provide funding to construct more homes in the future. The homes are constructed out of reinforced concrete block, able to withstand an earthquake of 7.6 on the Richter scale. With 20 volcanoes in El Salvador, seismic activity is a constant threat, Habitat officials said.

Each March Habitat Kosciusko Executive Director Christon Clark leads a volunteer team to help build in El Salvador through the Habitat Global Village program. This past year volunteers from Redeemer Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County Lutheran Church in Warsaw participated. The 2014 trip will be March 1-8, more details will be available by emailing interest to: info@kosciuskohabitat.com

To learn more about Habitat Kosciusko, or to make a donation, call 574-269-4104 or visit www.kosciuskohabitat.com.