Young architects work with Mexican women
The desire to help underprivileged populations along with the concern of how we should manage the planets resources brought two young architecture offices – blaanc borderless architecture and CaeiroCapurso – together to create a non-profit association that could contribute to these causes.
Adobe for Women Association’s goal is to recover and teach vernacular construction skills and at the same time help women in need, women who are often the real family pillar and who bring up children despite the enormous hardships they face.
Adobe for Women’s first project is inspired by the work of Mexican architect Juan José Santibañez, who, twenty years ago, helped twenty women in difficult living conditions to build their own homes. Two decades later, Adobe for Women has planned the construction of twenty sustainable houses in the indigenous village of San Juan Mixtepec, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Despite the story being recent and having very few resources the commitment and dedication of these women for whom the first initiative is focused has allowed eight houses to start construction. The women contribute with hard work in the construction process, thus materializing the dream of a lifetime – having a home they may call their own.
The houses are intended for 20 women in difficult circumstances who will participate in the building process. They will slowly appropriate their future home and simultaneously re find their self esteem, work abilities and hope that will transform the spaces into safe, caring places for their families.
The houses are energy efficient and built with local materials such as adobe and bamboo. Each house costs only 3 830,84€ (the price of half a square meter in Paris or Amsterdam or a square meter in the Baltic capitals). These women have fought their whole lives for their children and their dignity. With our work and your help, they may continue to do this in their own home.
The house is the living space of a society: in it inhabitants do not only feed themselves, sleep and spend most of their free time as do they use it as a space for family integration, for their children’s education and reproduction of the ethical values that identify human groups, where traditions, customs and national culture is transmitted. Oaxaca is one of the States where living conditions are most critical. Not only are the sanitation and electrical energy problems worrying but also the fact that many people live in houses with just one room.