Spencer Bristol Engineering and its employees are proud to play a small part in bringing hope and self sufficiency to the village of Villa Catalina in the central region of Nicaragua. Along with financial contributions to programs delivering humanitarian relief, some of our employees have served as hands-on volunteers helping build homes, a school, and other much-needed projects.
About Villa Catalina
The families of Villa Catalina are victims of Hurricane Mitch that struck Nicaragua in 1998, dumping nearly a years’ worth of rain in one week. Massive flooding caused the side of a volcano to collapse in a horrific landslide that buried an area of nearly ten miles under many feet of mud. Several farming villages were completely buried by the mud and more than 3,000 people were killed. Thousands more were left homeless in one of the world’s poorest regions where the average person lives on less than $1 a day.
The impoverished government relocated hundreds of homeless families to El Limonal–literally, a garbage dump–where for years they endured unimaginable hardship, foraging in the dump for food, water, and shelter.
In 2003 a group of volunteers from Buford, Georgia learned of their desperate plight and began raising funds to purchase land where a new village could be built. A year later the families were relocated to the farmland that would become Villa Catalina.
For the next two years, each family lived in a temporary shelter called a bodega–a tarp enclosed, windowless structure with a tin roof–while construction on their new village was underway. Each family built their own 500 square foot cinder block home at a cost of about $3,800 each. The final home was completed in December, 2006.