4 Walls Project
The 4 Walls Project provides building materials and logistical aid to poor families in rural Nicaragua to repair or rebuild their homes. Established in the town of El Sauce, Leon in 2007 by Peace Corps Volunteer Meghan Haslam, 4 Walls was created to respond to a dire need in rural Nicaragua. High unemployment and inflation force poor families to choose between buying food or improving their homes, and many live in structures made of plastic sheeting, cardboard or unfired adobe.
With only $2,000, 4 Walls can rebuild an entire home for a family. Each beneficiary family is reviewed by the local selection committee, signs a contract, and provides labor for the project. The 4 Walls Project Manager, Alberto Hernández, is a local mason and former 4 Walls recipient. He not only helps review and build 4 Walls houses, but also has begun to help train mason's apprentices during construction.
The 4 Walls Project has run annual volunteer building trips since January 2008, and will begin summer trips in July 2013. Thanks to the support of ENLACE, a local tourism and small business development organization in El Sauce, volunteers stay in host-family houses, enjoy a tour of historic El Sauce and a trip to the small coffee farms in the mountains around El Sauce.
The project is supported by Journeys of Solutions, a non-profit which connects small projects with donors, volunteers and other causes. 4 Walls also cooperates with the Rochester, NY - El Sauce Sister City project.