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Marie Boitano

Nov 22, 2004, 4:06 PM

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Viva Veracruz

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As a participant in the recent Habitat for Humanity project I want to say how much we appreciate the warmth and generosity of the people of this city. For me it was a birthday present and a visit with people and to places not seen in over 40 years. To the shop keeper with his bottles of Maracuya who gave me a dance lesson, to the street vendor with his pouch of freshly harvested vanilla beans, to the restaurant staffs and to the families from Chiapas who sell their woven goods along the malecon, besos y abrazos. There was the fantastic night in Xalapa attending a Dia de los Muertos production by theater students. Apparently the Holiday Inn, Centro Historico where some of us stayed was a location used in the film DANZON. Then there was the drive along a beach, to a house and a visit with . . . Chavela Vargas. Every day was perfect. Thank you, Marie



Ed and Fran

Nov 22, 2004, 4:43 PM

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Re: [Marie Boitano] Viva Veracruz

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Sounds great.

How did the HfH project go?

How did you do on finding all the tools you were looking for?



Regards

E&F


Marie Boitano

Nov 22, 2004, 7:21 PM

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Viva Veracruz

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In Veracruz not all of the 75 houses were completed by week's end. A crew was staying on to finish things up. On the following Tuesday the nortes began to blow. The location was on sand so I am glad things were mostly calm during the week. It is an exposed location with 4,500 homes going up, mainly middle class townhouses with postage stamp sized yards. The blocks used were manufactured on site using an autoclave process from Germany. They were light weight with fragile edges and could be cut with a hand saw. Mastic was used to put them together and eventually an exterior coat of stucco was to be applied. Even though all of the materials were light weight the construction process was more complex than anticipated. The Carters spent the second half of the week in Veracruz. Three of the Secret Service staff were hospitalized from the heat and dust. It was quite a production with 2,400 of the volunteers from Mexico and 32 countries filling the other 1,600 positions. As it was my first experience with Habitat, people asked me why I was there. My reply was, "Because it is Mexico." That may also explain why there was no water to wash the breakfast dishes for 2,000 people one morning. Bottled water was used. As far as the tools go, not everyone understands that it takes a large group of middle and upperclass home owners to support a Home Depot. I think the inter-connected rooflines with multiple patios in the Veracruz design slowed the construction and not a lack of tools. Acquiring land for such a project is difficult. Jimmy Carter announced that two more parcels had been donated in Veracruz so the local Habitat affiliate can continue with more homes. Marie


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Nov 22, 2004, 8:30 PM

Post #4 of 6 (3040 views)

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Re: [Marie Boitano] Viva Veracruz

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Marie:
Thankyou for your post and letting us know how the Habitat project went in Veracruz. I was there the first day by chance when everyone was registering at the Palacio Municipal. I would have really enjoyed covering the event photographically and with video, but fortunately I had a client who I took up the coast to Nautla to the ecoturism hotel Istirinchá owned by a fellow Rotarian. If more events of this nature will be going on in Veracruz I would like to participate in them. Do you know who I should contact?
Once again...¡Mil gracias!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com


Marie Boitano

Nov 23, 2004, 9:54 AM

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] Viva Veracruz

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The main website is at: www.habitat.org. Next, under where we build, select Latin America. Then on the left under choose a country, Mexico will give the website and e-mail address for the nation. There are Habitat chapters in most states and I believe one in Veracruz state is named Los Tuxtlas. I do not know where it is headquartered. While there may not be a big building project like this one again, there is always construction being planned. With the donation of land, the Veracruz group is most fortunate. I believe something like 20,000 homes have been built in Mexico. You can probably get a listing of the major donors to the Habitat program in Mexico. It was a tremendously rewarding experience and I hope you do get to participate. I am thinking the purchase price for each home in this project was $12,500. If Xalapa has a chapter, who knows, you could help with fundraising to sponsor a locally built home. While waiting to register we were fortunate to have an helado shop just down the street. What with the sea breezes and the Jorocho and Cuban rhythms, the evenings were perfection. Marie


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Nov 23, 2004, 10:54 AM

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Re: [Marie Boitano] Viva Veracruz

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Marie:
So you got to try the "Güero, güera"(Blondie, blondie) ice creams!! Fantastic, right? I have at least an extra inch of girth thanks to the delicious irresistable delight!
Give me a call next time you come to Xalapa. BTW, we not have 2 "Güero, Güero" ice cream stores here so you don't have to go all the way to Veracruz for some. I'll probably have another inch of belly by the next time you get here!
¡Hasta pronto!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com
 
 
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