Creating Social Value Blog / Service in Action

Step by Step, Day by Day

Today was our fourth day on the building site and progress can be seen not only in the construction of the house, but also in the relationships with the family and the masons. We continued to lay the foundation of the house by erecting the reinforced concrete frame structure of the house. Every step of this process was done manually by our group and the masons. From mixing the materials used to make the concrete to assembling the steel frames that will support the walls of the house, the tedious work allowed us to have a new found respect for the masons’ work.
House frame
As we have viewed the progress of the physical labor during our time in Ahuachapán, we have also witnessed how our relationships with the family and the community members have evolved from strangers to friends. While language is still a barrier in these relationships, it is one that has been disregarded since the work has started. With simple hand gestures and friendly laughter, people can still communicate without the use of oral language. One special moment occurred when Stephanie and Jennifer greeted our group with hugs and smiles as they entered their home after a day at school. This small but powerful act was a sign of a friendship that has been under construction since the first day we were introduced to the girls. Although it is exciting to see the progression of the home that we are building, it is more fulfilling to watch the relationships that we have been developing grow stronger with every giggle and smile.
Sanchon “DJ” Dillup-Jones ’12 and Hongling Xu ’15
DJ sifting

DJ and the team sifting dirt.


Hongling taking down the fence.