By April Simpson
“Bahareque” homes, made mostly with bamboo, mud and sticks, are a traditional form of construction still practiced in rural areas of Latin America, including El Salvador.
The bamboo is sliced lengthwise down the center to provide for the home’s frame, which is typically filled in with mud and sticks, although this varies by location. Palms can also be used in an attempt to cover the gap between the walls and the roof, often composed of metal sheeting or clay tiles.
The inside of the home feels much like the outside: hot, cold, windy, rainy or damp. There is no relief from the elements. Children are always fighting fever and colds. The home is so insecure that rodents, insects, animals, even people, can easily enter uninvited.
During heavy rains, bahareque homes flood and their walls crumble. When this happens, families fear their home falling on top of them. For some, it’s already happened. At night, they move their beds from one dry spot to the next. When that’s not possible, they are forced to stand.
This is how many rural poor live across Latin America. Your gift for housing today can help provide a family with a safe, secure home with strong walls and a solid foundation.