While much of what we do is in the business of building new homes for the landless poor, and providing interest free long term mortgages, the Greater Blessings program allows families who own land with existing homes to receive basic repairs or improvements. Our first major Greater Blessings projects came in the form of relief work for a community buried in river sand after a tropical storm in November, 2009. We excavated several feet of sand from the streets of Santa Cruz and started digging out houses, one by one, until the entire community was uncovered.
In addition to relief work when necessary, we have begun working with Sister Rose and the Mission to Chiltiupan, a small farming village on the top of a mountain range with an ocean view and a cool breeze, in an effort to pour new concrete floors in existing homes throughout the community. When Sister Rose can provide some volunteer labor with a visiting team, we haul our cement mixer, shovels, and buckets up the hill with some skilled labor. After a day or two of work, a family goes from walking on a dirt floor to living on solid ground. Since the homes in the area are generally built on slope and in stages, we also make accessibility changes including steps or ramps between rooms at different levels, greatly improving safety and mobility for families.