El Jicarito: Let the construction begin

By Casey Callais 08/19/2016 — It has been a hard two months but we have finally gotten the ground prepared–so we can confidently say that construction can now being. *whew!*

Massive thank you to the open enrollment group from Portland (which included all-stars from Portland Jesuit HS, University of Portland and Livingston HS in New Jersey). We would not have gotten nearly as far as we did without all your digging and wire tying!

So what did we do this week? First we watched the professional dirt movers bring in truckload after truckload of dirt and spread it out. Then we watched it rain.

And rain.

And rain.

Actually we are overjoyed that the rain came when it did. First of all it cooled everything down about 10 degrees and everyone was thankful for that. Secondly it saved us big $$ by not having to rent a water truck to come in and spray the newly laid dirt to compact it. And lastly, it gave the local farmers some hope for their crops. When given the choice between food tomorrow and a school next year, most will take the food. Fair enough.

Once the dirt was leveled we started digging the pit for the latrines bathrooms. The work was hot, dirty and sweaty as the guys inside the pit chipped away at the walls and floor, shoveled it into buckets and lifted it out of the hole to people waiting on top. We left it at about 9 feet deep.

digging the latrine pit in el jicarito

Aside from bathroom digging, we also tied together the skeletons for the cement pillars that will support the roof over the classroom in the back of the school. As you can see from the top photo, the rebar is the BIG stuff. That’s four 1″ diameter rebars tied with 1/2″ diameter stirrups every few inches. Needless to say this school will be built solid.

Here is a link to our photo gallery for more photos of the trip.

We will be posting regular updates about the project as construction continues. In the meantime we are offering an amazing deal for people who are interested in this project. Donate to help buy whiteboards, desks, computers, etc. and receive Knitknot’s architectural plans, Precision Structural Engineering’s structural design (compliant with the 2012 International Building Code), Seeds of Learning’s complete construction report AND a 2-hour phone call with the Seeds of Learning team. This is ideal for anyone who is interested in building their own superadobe project and the money goes to cover school supplies and resources. Donate

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