The Red Latinoamericana de Acogimiento Familiar (Latin American Foster Care Network) estimate that there are roughly 400,000 children in Mexico without parental care, including 100,000 who live on the streets.
There is no help from the State of Mexico for the children and all orphanages are private.
Struggling to fundraise publicly, we would like to be able to open the first private totally autonomous orphanage in Latin America. We want to address this issue in a clever way, blending self sufficiency, respect for Nature and autonomy for an evolved environment to welcome children in need of support.
All our constructions are using re-purposed materials such as:
- Glass bottles
- Plastic Bottles and plastic wraps (EcoBricks)
As well as new, more sustainable materials such as: Aircrete (a mix of concrete and soap, allowing us to use 80% less concrete and obtain a light, easy to work with and insulating material)
We are also trying to incorporate as many natural materials as possible, such as wood or stones.
The children shelter will be fully autonomous by aiming to provide all year around:
WATER: Several water tanks will be installed behind the building. Fed with gravity, they will collect the water straight from the roof. In Mexico, the raining season is short but can provide water for the whole year if the size of the tank is large enough. If the water from the tank happened to run out, there are also several wheels around the land and shared by the community so fresh ground water is a first back up. A last resource would be to appeal to private water company to fill the tanks artificially with drinkable water (about 500 pesos per tank).
ENERGY: The building will be powered by solar energy.
FOOD: Food is produced on the land around the building, thanks to our water re-using systems. We could also include aquaponic Fish Tank so fishes can be breed and eaten regularly, as well as a chicken space will also be build in order to welcome about 10 chicks to have eggs everyday. Milk is donated to orphans by the state of Mexico.
SEWAGE TREATMENT: We are committed to treat our own sewage thanks to our expert plumber, and the black water will be treated safely in outside planters.
FINANCES: Due to its location, the orphanage will attract paying participants that can explore different sustainable techniques, and will be able to generate little income for further spendings, such as clothes, school books, etc...
Why It Is Needed
Mazunte is a little fisherman village, with about 700 inhabitants. However, it is a very touristic area, developing rapidly, which just obtain the status of “Pueblo Magico” (indigenous sacred land)It is located between two big costal cities: Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, very touristic places with an airport... It is also about 4h drive from Oaxaca city, the capital of the state. The state of Oaxaca is the second poorest state of Mexico. Although it has been well preserved from complete Westernisation, the little tourism happening makes up of the main incomes of most of the families but leaves waste products difficult to manage.
The political instability and the growing gang culture of Central American countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador is pushing people to run away, towards the North, aiming for the US, they ultimately end up in Mexico. The increase of asylum-seekers, primarily from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala— the countries making up the “Northern Triangle” region —was characterized by President Obama as a “humanitarian crisis.”
Nearly 5000 unaccompanied children are trying to cross the US border alone every month (https:// www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/25/children-immigrants-us-mexico-border) according to the Guardian.
In 2015, 70,000 children seek refuge in Mexico, as the fantastic article of Human Right Watch explains: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/31/mexico-asylum-elusive-migrant-children
These children need protection and shelter, we want to bring the solution.
You can download a report here about systems put in place in Mexico for refugee children and economic migrants trying to go to USA.
SOME OF THE TEAM...
Agate and Jeane
Agate (FOUNDER): Agate has been studying in two London universities and has a degree in International Development and a master in Education and Sustainability. She has been working for Earthship since several years and decided to start and finance this project.
Jeane (LOGISTC MANAGER): Jeanne Jeane has worked for Earthship and in traditional construction for more than 10 years and she is a great builder and teacher. Jeane has organised and participated to poverty and disaster relief projects all over the World.
Olivia has worked with children for many years in London and then moved to Mexico, where she has been supporting the project from the beginning. She started with Agate the project, and has been living in Mexico for several month. She is always trying to get us the best price, knows all the construction shops around and the village of Mazunte. She is also most of the time the team chauffeur :-)
Charlene has been working for Earthship on many projects and has also led a construction in Chile, She is one of the best tire pounder in the World, among thousands of other skills...
Anna has more than 10 years of experience in construction. She is an outstanding leader and can adapt to any environment. She can work with any tool, in any country, and build incredible structures.
Carlos has done the Earthship Academy and since then he has been working for the establishment of Joya Orphanage. He is a great builder, but he also manages to make people feel welcome. He is an essential member of the orphanage team, and incredible in organizing everyone's lunch!
Mathieu is from France and attended Earthship Academy, as well as Aircrete classes. He loves Mexico, but the most important thing is that he is an incredible engineer. He has been a great collaborator of the orphanage and still helps him grow
Katel has also studied Biotecture and sustainable construction techniques. She is a great builder, but also also specialized in childcare and passionated about permaculture and natural medicines.
Plumber at Earthship Biotecture, Lou has been supporting the project since its creation and luckily for Joya, he helps organising the entire sustainable plumbing systems, water harvesting, water filtering and natural sewage treatment.