Guayabales is a small village of 300 people located high on the side of a volcano. The people are of extreme poverty and the only existing structures that feature a concrete floor are a small church and a schoolhouse. Water is obtained from a gravity fed hose that runs down from the volcano crater to the village. There is no current method of storing water and all excess is spilled out onto the ground. One photovoltaic panel keeps the village cell phone charged and powers the only incandescent bulb within miles. Standing in the village, you can smell the rain forest being burnt as the land is cleared for the production of maize. This project offers immediate relief to health issues and is a base for transformational services impacting not only social issues, but global ecological issues as well.
The project is carefully sited to establish a community center with the church and schoolhouse clustered around an ancient tree that has, for centuries, been used as the village gathering place. Gabions are used to terrace and stabilize the mountain slope and to form a pila for washing clothes. A birthing clinic and an office for a nurse practitioner are slipped beneath the covered assembly area. Water is captured, filtered and stored for community access and electricity is created for use by the clinic and as a source of light for the assembly hall.
Local construction techniques and materials are balanced with high technology to create a sustainable structure of striking simplicity.
*a collaborative effort with David D. Driskill, Javier Gomez Alvarez Tostado, and Kyle Elliot