Today is Dedication Day!

It’s Friday – today we celebrate the culmination of everyone’s building efforts and gift the houses to our partner families. The excitement is palpable! This morning there are a few last minute tasks – hanging the doors and installing the window screens.

At noon we will dedicate the Green house to Berta and her adult son Gerzon (pronounced Hair-sewn). Berta leaves for work at 1:30, so we’ll start there first. We will have a cake and present the family with a Spanish Bible signed by the group. We also have LOT of housewarming presents for  each family including new bedding, a shower curtain and bath mat, new towels for the bathroom and kitchen linens.

After celebrating at the Green house we will go to the Pink House and celebrate with Katia, Jeffry and their three children – Mia Obet (2), Samuel (5), and Natasha (6). We have lots of gifts for the kids in the family, as well as things for neighborhood children including soccer balls, stickers and books.

After the dedication we will go to Maximo’s house for our own celebration with the Mercy Home Ministries staff.

It has been an amazing week – although maybe amazing is an understatement to describe this process of seeing two houses built in one week, and helping change the lives of two families forever. Group members are already asking if we will be coming back again soon. I take that as a good sign that people feel excited about what we’ve accomplished and want to share this enthusiasm. I hope that we will be able to continue the relationship with Mercy Home Ministries in future years.

Stay tuned for more pictures tonight from the dedications of the completed houses.

– Katelyn


The Pink House and Green House are up!

Today was another great day of hard work in the heat. Our group is really doing well and having fun too! The weather is consistent, with highs around 91 degrees each day. It makes for a hot work day, and everyone appreciates the pool time or beach time when the work day is done. We continued working on both houses today.

The windows and screens were installed in the green house. The Costa Rican crew is going over early tomorrow morning to install the roof and avoid working in the midday heat. Some group members will continue to help with landscaping, hanging doors, and helping Pastor Vicky install the bathroom plumbing.

The pink house panels were all transported before lunch and put up this afternoon.  Tomorow that house will have roof trusses and windows installed. We are planning to dedicate both houses on Friday and should be able to meet our timeline. At the pink house, Jeffry & Katia’s three children – Natasha, Samuel and Mia Obet – were an absolute delight! They had fun playing with Isabel (one of our group members) and drawing and playing with balloons that we brought along. After running out of wooden blocks to draw on, I realized the kids could also color on the styrofoam lunch boxes. It is amazing how such simple things can keep kids happily busy for hours! Enjoy the photos and keep checking on our progress. I won’t be able to post again until tomorrow night as we only have internet at our accommodations.

Work Day #2

This morning panels for the Green House were loaded on to the truck and transported to the build site where a team of volunteers is working on assembling them. Meanwhile the rest of the group continues working on panels for the Pink house. We hope to finish up those panels this afternoon and transport them at 7 am tomorrow. We ran out of pink paint, so once we get more, one of the major afternoon tasks will be painting the rest of the panels.

Two group members – Ken and Doug M. are working with a local resident named Bruce (who is originally from Maine) to build a set of bunk beds for Jeffry & Katia’s house. They have three small children and will appreciate the extra sleeping space. This will be the first time the children have their own beds. We also purchased bedding for both families and will give that to them at the end of the week at the dedication.

Meanwhile, it continues to be hot. We’re all doing our best to stay hydrated and work in the shade as much as possible. Tonight once we complete our workday we’ll try to catch the sunset at Playa Pelada and then Taco Tuesday at El Chivo restaurant.

Okay, now I have to get back to it!



Work Day 1 comes to an end

Monday – Day 1 – The Team rocked it today!!!!

We got 31 panels built in total. That’s one house plus 4. Each house has 7 window panels and 2 door panels per house.  The window panels are harder to build. Despite the heat and unfamiliarity with the building process, we worked well together, had fun, and were very productive. Tomorrow morning we begin our workday at 8am by painting panels, and then loading one house on the truck to transport to the first build site. We will also paint and build more panels for house 2. Some members of our group will begin assembling the panels at the green house. The other house will be painted pink. The families choose their house color and many prefer bright colors.

We ended our first work day with seeing the sunset at Guinos Beach – the surf beach. The sun sets around now 6 pm it disappears very quickly below the horizon here, but wow is it gorgeous. I didn’t get any pictures, but hopefully someone else will post some!

Thank you for your prayers- keep them coming!

– Katelyn


The Work Begins!

This morning we began building the panels for the houses. Each house is made up of 26 panels. They are constructed out of Plyrock (cement board) and 2x4s (or the metric equivalent!) Some have doors and windows that need to be framed and cut out while assembling. We started by watching Manuel, our foreman, and Cal (group member from Chicago) show us how to build a panel. Then we broke off into four groups. Equipped with drills and skill saws, the work began. I learned how to use a skill saw this morning. It’s a little bit dangerous and a little exciting all wrapped up into one. I also am working on my drilling skills. I’ve had to go in “reverse” several times. As a “beginner,” I’m thankful to have some easy tasks to learn, and a patient team to work with. As we got panels built, some folks began painting. One of the houses going to be a “avocado” (Aguacate in Spanish)! Green.

We took a lunch break and now are back to it in the heat. Yes, it is hot in Nosara! Coming from Vermont, we usually only see these temperatures for a few weeks in July. So, we are doing our best to drink plenty of water, work in the shade, and remember that God is guiding us and strengthening us, as we act as God’s hands and feet to build houses for two families.  Now it is time to get back to work for the afternoon! Stay cool and keep on praying for us and commenting on our blog! – Katelyn