Day – 6 The building Rises

A great day of building, with completion of the septic tank and lots of blocks mortared and filled. Very physical day with lots of dirt moving, mixing of motar and concrete along with laying block.  The weather was perfect a nice 96 degrees with light winds. 

Finished around 3:00 and went to a volcano park for a short hike. Interesting location with a small lake. 

Back to hotel for dinner and cards


Day – 5. The big concrete pour

Finish the foundation day. Big day on a shovel with lots of concrete mixing and septic tank digging. We spent 3 hours in the morning digging the septic tank to about 7.5 feet deep. Hauling dirt up in5 gallon buckets, dumping into wheel barrows and moving 50 feet to the dirt pile. When the steel team finished tying all the rebar and setting the steel in the footings we switched out of the “pit” and started mixing concrete. Tough job moving 2 yards by hand. 

Good news the had more ice in site to cool drinks and we stopped at a public pool on the way home to cool off. Over all very tiring but productive day. 

Mixing concrete 1 yard at a time by hand
Nick getting all the steel in right
View of site – Lots more dirt 95 degree + day
Terry on steel duty
Local El Salvador staff Erica taking a turn on the pick
Getting water under tent
Erica digging with team in pit
Sunset in BERLIN El Salvador

Day 4 – teamwork PLUS

Day 4 started wit a pleasant hour drive to the site and mixing a quick yard of concrete to finish up the vase pour. Then the trucks started arriving. First the steel truck with rebar. Next the rock truck with rock for the “good” concrete and then the cinder block truck with tons of block. Al this new material got the site packed, which required us to move a 2 yard pile of RICK and sand. Labor is Cheap. 

We then began bending and tying rebar, and digging the septic tank. No shortage of work for the team. Our teamwork skills were tested as we unloaded the block truck moving the blocks in a fire line 30 yards with 15 people. 

The septic tank digging was also a teamwork test, once we got down 4 feet we handed the dirt up in buckets and put into wheelbarrows. Lots of dirt handling. 

A bit cooler on day 4 with a little cloud cover. Only 93 degrees. Using lots of GU Engery Electrolyte tablets. 

Steel truck and sand we moved 15 feet
Brian in septic tank digging
Nick tying rebar
Lots of blocks moved by the team
Getting deeper. Need to go to 10 feet
Drew looking good after getting out of septic tank hole
Sifted sand. Used for mortar for blocks
Team taking a break in the shade

Day 3 – work and heat

Got to the site after a hour van ride with every seat filled. The site is down the mountain and very hot. Our first job was to set up 2 tents to have some shade. Next we dug out the footings for the foundation and started mixing concrete by hand. Concrete mixing is hard work. Mixing the sand, rock and concrete dry requires lots of shoveling. Then adding water requires lots more shoveling. Then you get to shovel into wheel barrows and dump into footings I think we mixed 4-6 yards today. It does help to have 15 people working and dice we only have 6 shovels you can get a break. 
After we finished pouring the bottoms is the footings got back in the van and stopped in Allegria where we took in the view and walked the 100 steps in town. Then back to hostel for a shower, beer and dinner. 

Tomorrow is more concrete and tying rebar. Should be fun😎

On to Berlin

We got on a bus to travel to the town where we planned to stay for the week to build the house.   Our first stop was the war memorial wall 85 meters of names of the killed and missing in the civil war. Our guide gave us the interpretation of the art work depicting the history of El Salvador  

We then traveled to a small town near our hostel for lunch. Great views and much cooler at 4,000 feet up. Nice lunch meeting the local team and one of the owners of the house we are going to work on.  We toured the shops in town and left for our hostel. Checked in and quickly left to visit the house and the family the team worked for last year. Very interesting to see how the house is built and how the people live. 
Then went back to hostel. Dinner, cards and beer. Then called it a day. Up at 6:00 am tomorrow to start working.  Great time and fun group. 

Explaining art work at the memorial
The wall of names of the killed or missing
Lunch with the owners of the house we are building
Street fair in town. View of the mountains
House built last year by habitat team and the family

Day 1 – San Salvador

Left SFO on Delta at 5:00pm to LA. Had a 5 hour layover in LA and flew to San Salvador, El Salvador. Arriving at 6:00 am.  Good thing I can sleep on a plane. Our group is 12 people ranging in age from mid twenties to late seventies. All fun and interesting people that I am looking forward to knowing better. Cleared customs without any problems and got on a bus with the local Habitat representative to go to breakfast and our hotel.  We then got on another bus to tour the city

Worlds largest p


Worlds largest puppus pan

Had breakfast in small town famous for puppusas a corn flour pancake filled with beans cheese and vegetables

Church at Jesuit University where many priests were killed at start of civil war


Church in downtown San Salvador where priests are buried

Interesting church with bullet holes in the door and a cool inside.



El Salvador 2017

Hey, the adventure is starting.  Off on a trip to build houses in El Salvador.  I will have my Spot on so follow along on my location.  Hope to publish every day and share this adventure with all my friends.  The link below has my full itinerary and an overview of the trip.   We are staying in a very small town called Berlin.


We are in the providence of Usulután state and building foundations for a new house.  Here is the map of El Salvador to see where we will be staying in the country.

Will be posting daily blogs to  share the experience.

Thanks for following.  Here is the Spot address to follow.  I will turn on SPOT when  I reach El Salvador.


GV Pre-Departure