Marchit Valdez’s House
Marchit Valdez, 19, lives in Dios te Ama, Pisco with her fiancé and four year old son Darean. Marchit’s mother-in-law gifted her a plot of land just space enough for a small house. This neighborhood in Pisco is still without sewage and trash collection. The few sources of water, which consist of dirty holes in the ground with a pipe sticking out, the entire community shares. When we first arrived at the house for the site assessment, we all had to duck to enter the bedroom due to the sagging tarp roof. Marchit took proactive steps towards enhancing her family’s quality of life before we arrived. She saved money to buy cement and poured a small living room floor. The house was extremely clean and organized. How she kept her house that clean with the majority of the floor being dirt I will never know. One side of her kitchen had a worn down bug infested wooden wall while the others had tarp. While talking with her about what we could do to help Marchit asked only one favor. She asked that we give her at least three days notice before we start so she could practice cooking us lunch.
We started with deconstructing her entire house. Despite the few scorpions this went very fast. We moved all the family’s belongings into her mother-in-laws house and started prepping the land for the new cement floor. The floor pour went off smoothly minus the failed attempts to keep Darean from running across the wet floor when he arrived home from school. Everyday Marchit was there helping us along with Darean “helping” as well. From here we started the reconstruction of their home. The family bought tri-ply to build the living room walls. We installed a secure modular wall in the back. The modular walls are available to us thanks to Aceros Ariquipa , which donates wood to our organization weekly. The original plan was to install roof panels only over the kitchen and reinstall the tarp roof over the rest of the house. But after I held a ladies night fundraiser, we were able to give an entire proper roof. After securing the interior walls and installing basic electric, we were happy to hand over her keys to her new home.
It is a privilege to be able to give someone a safe and clean home in less than two weeks and with limited resources. So often we take for granted what we have and this project just reinforces my gratitude for how blessed I really am.