Help build better lives with your own two hands!
The 4 Walls Project is dedicated to helping change the lives of families in the rural town of El Sauce, Nicaragua. Entire families, sometimes as many as ten or more people, live in houses whose walls are constructed out of tarps, crumbling adobe brick, and rotting timber. This project seeks to go beyond a simple donation to forge connections between donors and Nicaraguan families.
What can you do?
Join a volunteer work trip! Through working with the 4 Walls Project, you’ll have an opportunity to change a poor Nicaraguan family’s life. You will not only improve the structure of a house, you will provide a family the chance to have a safe, secure place to call home.
Donate to the 4 Walls Project:
Your contribution will bear directly on how many walls will be built, and the number of families whose lives will be improved with a basic home. So what can you do with a little? A lot!
How it works
4 Walls aims to provide families with the materials to finish their homes. Recipients of a donation must provide transportation for the materials and the labor to complete the house. After meeting with each family and assessing its situation, 4 Walls takes estimates for the materials needed for the project, signs a contract with the family, and donates the materials. Each household will receive a materials donation depending on its needs.
Volunteering with 4 Walls
Are you looking for a work/adventure project? The 4 Walls Project can offer you an experience that will change your life. The best part of the work is that it’s not about YOU. As a 4 Walls volunteer, you will stretch your heart by connecting and working together with Nicaraguan families.
Tearing down walls and rebuilding houses on the foundation of goodness inside all of us inspired 4 Walls volunteers in January of 2010. Nicaraguans and Americans cemented lives together physically while digging ditches and mixing cement, and emotionally by working with each other.
Volunteer Bonnie Yannie, an emergency room nurse from Rochester, New York has worked with 4 Walls from its early stages in 2008. In her memories of the 2010 trip, she recalls:
“It's day 8 ...we (the 12 volunteers) are going around to say good-bye to the five families we helped. We have worked side by side, mixing cement and laying bricks…There is deep joy among us, visible in huge smiles, embraces, and lots of photo taking among our new friends. We've rebuilt more than houses, we've cemented our hearts together!
[Volunteers] Joe, Andrew, and I worked for three days at Julia's house. She is a sweet lady in her 60’s who cares for her disabled daughter. As we mixed cement in her simple house, she quietly swept the dirt and dust with her twig broom. We thought we understood her gestures of pride. But honestly, gazing at her new wall took our breath away. Proudly hanging were her most precious pictures and photos! With tears in our eyes, we all shared a sacred moment of pure love and joy! I tell Andrew, “You know, you can come back to Julia's house 10 years from now and she will welcome you with tears of joy again."
The work is hard, dirty, and sweaty, the climate hot, and the sun is intense. As Joe, another volunteer on the 2010 trip said, “What a vacation, we made mud, got to play in the sandbox, bobbed for bricks, dug ditches, chipped rocks, stretched our hearts, and opened our minds.”
Trips with the 4 Walls Project also include an adventure component. This year, volunteers visited a small mountain community that is establishing an eco-tourism project. The proud natives of the village explained to the volunteers how they chose to grow organic coffee and work as a community instead of selling their land to loggers. Their tour guide’s enthusiasm and passion for his job convinced everyone that having work you love is inspiring.
If you would like to experience this adventure, or for more information, please contact:
As a Peace Corps volunteer, Meghan started the 4 Walls Project. Read her story << Meghan's Story>>