Colombia House Building #3: A Close Knit Community

Anna ’24 and Henry ’26, describe their first day at the work site.

Today was our first day building the house and our inspiration from the community began on our drive to the work site. The first thing that stood out to us about the community was how closely knit the homes were with each other, this foreshadowed the strong sense of community we picked up on. We saw groups of kids playing in the streets, on basketball courts and in soccer fields. We also saw lots of people working and selling things together, rarely seeing anyone alone.

Upon arriving at the site, we met workers from the Catalina Foundation as well as Leidy, the mother of the family we are building the home for. When we introduced ourselves, Leidy explained how having her own house has been her dream for a very long time. Throughout the day as we worked, we felt welcomed by the community as their generosity showed through in the form of Leidy cooking lunch for us, and a neighbor letting us into his home to use the bathroom as we needed. In addition, various groups in the community stopped to show their support for us as they were passing by.

Despite language barriers, everyone tried to speak English to us while simultaneously we did our best to speak Spanish with them. This created a community within the larger city, where we all collectively worked with each other for the betterment of society.