The purpose of the Nicaragua trip was to help the impoverished in El Jicarito and lead them into a better education. Our schedule was packed. From 8 am to 12 pm, my classmates and I were working towards better education in 40 degree (Celsius) weather. We all learned a lot during the process.
One of the leaders of the projects had a sister who was an architect at KnitKnot, which is a Spanish architect firm. They designed an earthquake-proof building that also had great ventilation so that the kids could focus in high-temperature conditions.
We learned how to build the walls from start to finish. It first started with pushing all the sand and gravel over to the cement mixers. This meant taking multiple trips back and forth with wheelbarrows and shovels. My back hurt the next day 🙂
At the same time, we were mixing a mountain-high pile of dirt with water to make super adobe. This super adobe needed to have the right consistency so that the walls would be able to stand and be packed. Our group was adding onto work that had been done before (we weren’t starting from the very start) so we were able to see what walls we would end up finishing. When the super adobe solidified, it turned out to be very strong. It would be hard for any natural disaster to get through those walls!
As we made the super adobe, we packed the super adobe into bags and layered them on top of the walls to build and go up.
On the last day, we were able to finish the super adobe walls. It was heartwarming to see the community of El Jicarito with all smiles. The next step is to covering the superadobe walls with concrete to seal everything together!