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GSBN:FYI --Hands-On Strawbale Workshop in Mexico

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<font face="Times New Roman, Times" size=3><i>Please forward this
announcement to anyone you think would be interested.   
Thank you!  -- Regards, Catherine 
</i><b>Natural Building Across Cultures in Anapra, Mexico 
March 8 - 22, 2003 
</b>Builders Without Borders announces a work experience opportunity in
Anapra, a ?colonia? of Juarez, Mexico. In conjunction with Casas de la
Cruz (which has a 14 year commitment in the area) BWB architect Alfred
von Bachmayr, will lead two intensive week-long workshops to build a
straw-bale home for a local family. This is an opportunity for up to five
people to learn by doing, while experiencing the challenges of our
neighbors? life across the border.  
Week one will include all stages of straw-bale construction beginning
with site preparations, bale raising, box beam, window/door buck and
pallet truss construction and installation. 
Week two will include pinning and strapping, straw ceiling insulation,
roof assembly, electrical system and all stages of finished earthen
plaster as well as interior and exterior detailing. 
BWB participants will interact daily with the local family as well as
work side by side with a local Mexican builder, and a college group of up
to 8 students from St. Marks Parish in Independence, MO. 
BWB participants can choose one of the weeks or both. Preference should
be determined beforehand to plan for adequate space. 
Cost is $595/week, including meals, dorm-style housing, and instruction
by three BWB workshop facilitators who will be sharing the same housing.
Both weeks offer opportunities to interact and share dinner with local
residents who support the Casa de la Cruz projects. 
<b>Contact: Builders Without Borders to register at 505-895-5400, or for
more information call Melissa Malouf at 970-349-0161 or email
We are planning car pools from various locations in New Mexico, this will
be arranged with further notice from participants and their locations.
<b><u>More about Builders Without Borders (BWB) and the Anapra
</u></b>Our non-profit organization began in the fall of 1999 by natural
builders concerned about under-housed populations. Our mission is to
increase the availability of affordable and sustainable, transitional and
permanent housing around the world, in partnership with local
One of Builders Without Borders?s goals is to train local builders to
build their own shelter through cooperative building projects. We promote
the use of straw, earth and other natural materials with the goal of
decreasing the reliance on expensive and often unavailable alternatives.
We also recognize that such housing solutions will necessarily be as
varied as the communities and individuals involved. 
BWB is also creating a natural building handbook called <i>Building
Without Borders, Sustainable Construction for the Global Village</i> for
use in the field, with a variety of building techniques and options, and
case studies of what has worked, or not worked, in past situations.
Ultimately our lessons will be shared freely on our web site
</font><a href="http://www.builderswithoutborders.org/"; eudora="autourl"><font face="Times New Roman, Times" size=3 color="#0000FF"><u>www.BuildersWithoutBorders.</a><a href="http://www.builderswithoutborders.org/"; eudora="autourl">org</a></font><font face="Times New Roman, Times" size=3>
</u>to educate about sustainable building technologies. BWB also focuses
on training programs, workshops and providing educational cross-cultural
experiences for volunteers. 
<b>The Anapra Project.</b> In the community of Anapra outside Juarez,
Mexico, many families live in houses made of discarded shipping pallets
covered by tar paper with uninsulated roofs. Such homes are sweltering in
summer and freezing in winter. Straw bales, available locally for about
$1 each, could be a comfortable and affordable alternative. Anapra alone
has almost 20,000 residents, and Juarez is home to more than 200 such
?colonias? inhabited by factory workers just south of the U.S. border.
Builders Without Borders recently assisted in building a home for the
family of Jose Luis Rocha who lost their house in a fire, to demonstrate
how residents can build comfortable, well-insulated low-cost homes out of
straw bales, discarded pallets, adobe and broken concrete. When finally
complete, we believe this home will set an example of affordable passive
solar straw-bale construction in an area of great need, where the climate
ranges from 100+ temperatures to below freezing, and homes are subject to
high winds.  
Like the Casa de la Cruz home, it features passive solar design and
utilizes the concept of using shipping pallets to fabricate roof trusses.
The straw-bale walls rise from a foundation of rammed tires and a stem
wall of mortared chunks of broken concrete known to natural builders as
?urbanite.? It is being finished with earth plasters inside, and cement
stucco outside.  
Builders Without Borders contributed to the cost of materials and BWB
volunteers participated in several work events between October 2001 and
February 2002, helping Jose Luis build this home. During construction,
several border-area building organizations that were curious about
straw-bale technology, visited the site. Casa de la Cruz subsequently
chose to begin using straw bales as an alternative to concrete block
construction, as a result. There will be an opportunity to visit the
Rocha home during this upcoming March workshop.  
Donations to BWB are tax deductible. For more information or to become a
member of BWB, visit our website at:
</font><a href="http://www.builderswithoutborders.org/"; eudora="autourl"><font face="Times New Roman, Times" size=3 color="#0000FF">www.BuildersWithoutBorders.</a><a href="http://www.builderswithoutborders.org/"; eudora="autourl">org</a></font><font face="Times New Roman, Times" size=3>
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