Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico

by PROTECHOS INC.
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Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
Build 10 Roofs and Train 10 People in Puerto Rico
The PRotechos completes a roof and celebrates.
The PRotechos completes a roof and celebrates.

Hello, GlobalGiving Friends!

As you may know, we at PRoTechos have a dual mission– to rebuild roofs while strengthening Puerto Rico’s workforce. Apprentices build climate resilient roofs as part of their training and leave the program with much needed carpentry skills, moving on to work in a related field and reducing the massive carpentry shortage in Puerto Rico. For this update, we’d like to share the story of a trainee turned foreman and her friendship with an elderly recipient of one of our recent roof reconstruction projects. 

After 10 years of living away from her homeland, Franceliz recently moved back to Puerto Rico. Upon returning, she came across PRoTechos’ Learn and Earn program and was so invested in our mission that, upon completion of her three month carpentry training, she joined our staff as a foreman. In her current role, she trains others in carpentry skills while building roofs for impoverished families in Puerto Rico. 

Franceliz and her crew of trainees recently worked to reconstruct the roof of an 81 year old resident of Puente Blanco, Catano. Jesus was referred to us by his neighbor, who was worried that Jesus’ living situation would exacerbate his existing health conditions. 

Re-roofing was a challenge. His old zinc roof had different levels and complex issues. Over the span of construction, Franceliz and Jesus built a collegial and friendly relationship. Franceliz ensured that her crew was sensitive to Don Jesus’ living conditions, as his home was in dire need of repair. Jesus is forever appreciative of the heartfelt dedication that Franceliz and her team put into repairing his home. They continued to check on Jesus long after the project was over to make sure he was okay and remind him not to skip lunch. 

PRoTechos has built over 125 roofs and is eager to continue to bring a sense of normalcy to families in need. Your continued support makes this and more possible -  One Roof at a Time.

Franceliz shares carpentry tips with a trainee.
Franceliz shares carpentry tips with a trainee.

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Carmen with the team and her new roof
Carmen with the team and her new roof

Carmen, 58, has lived in the same house for over 25 years with her daughter, who suffers from asthma. When they heard that a hurricane was coming, Carmen and her daughter sought shelter in a cement room at the back of their house. From that room they heard the zinc panels on the roof bursting, and then water began to pour into the house. First 3 of the 4 turnbuckles on the roof broke, and then all the bolts came loose. Although Carmen was able to get help from another nonprofit organization, the repairs did not last. The roof began to deteriorate, the zinc was corroded and the strength of the roof was compromised. The leaking water led to mold growth, which is especially hazardous to someone with asthma.  Fortunately, PRoTechos was able to lend a hand. 

 

Carmen and her daughter always greeted the PRoTechos team with smiles, snacks and even coffee. They were overwhelmed with gratitude for their new roof and dry home.  We hope to be able to help many other homeowners like Carmen, as at PRoTechos, we believe that everyone deserves safe and secure housing, including a roof that will not blow away in the next hurricane. 

 

Since our last update, thanks to additional funding from grants, PRoTechos was able to hire additional staff to increase the pace of our work.  We now have 17 trainees, 3 foremen, 2 carpentry assistants and 2 carpentry instructors/project coordinators, which has allowed us to build 17 more strong roofs and provided safe and secure housing (and a roof that does not leak!) to 17 more families like Carmen’s, and to train 22 more people in basic carpentry.  We have also learned new ways to build even stronger roofs, although this does require additional materials that increase the total cost of building each roof.  Inflationhas been a particularly difficult challenge for us -  in the last year we have seen an unprecedented increase in the cost of materials and labor. We can no longer build one roof and train one person for $5,000. When we began this project, we could build a roof for between $3,000 and $3500, and now that cost has ballooned to $7,000. Training one trainee now costs $2500.  

 

In April our current apprentices will graduate and we will begin to train our next class of 12. We are meticulously and compassionately executing our mission every day: 1 roof, 1 trainee at a time.

 

Our team is working tirelessly to develop new partnerships and funding opportunities but we cannot continue without your help. Every dollar counts and we are putting your donations directly to work.  Please help to ensure that we can help more families like Carmen’s by donating today and sharing our story with your friends and family. Together we can continue to work alongside families to build capacity through our training program. Together we can continue to insure safe and dry homes one roof and one family at a time. Thank you now and always for your support.

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In this season of thanksgiving, we would like to share a story that would not be possible without your kindness and giving that we are so grateful for. A story of family and happiness against all odds. 

In a small wooden 2 bedroom house next to the bay in Barrio Vietnam, 82-year old Nilda beams with pride as she talks about her home of the last 43 years. Nilda recalls moving into what was then a 1 room structure with only 1 previous owner, a family of 6. Nilda and her husband took out a loan for $6,000 in 1977 in order to remodel the house and, little by little, they built their home. The wooden structure has a concrete room that they constructed as shelter for hurricanes. During Hurricane George in 1998, the home suffered substantial damage. Despite their attempts to make repairs, the leaking persisted. 23 years without a safe and dry home. 

Nilda’s home is multi-generational,  housing Nilda, Nilda’s daughter Rosita, granddaughter Rosimar, grandson Angel, and 6 year old great granddaughter Rosangela. 

Even after talking about the leaks that persisted through the past 2 dozen years Nilda affirms that she loves to live there. “I am 82 years old, no one bothers me.” And in response Rosimar exclaims, “This is paradise!”. Rosita moved in with her children after she lost her home to Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Nilda explains that after she passes away she would like to leave her home to Rosita to continue to provide a home for her family. The little one in the family, Rosangela says that she likes living in the home with her family.  Rosanglela’s family describe her as sweet and talk about how she helps her great grandmother.  Nilda says “Rosangela is my gift that was sent to me, to brighten up our home.”

Hurricane Maria

The family of 5 spent Hurricane Maria in the cement room they constructed for shelter.  Rosangela was only 2 years old at the time. The front door was smashed by the water and winds and washed away. Water poured in through the ceiling. Nilda says, “In 43 years I have never seen the water rise the way it did with Maria.” Her neighbors, like many others in Puerto Rico, still live in damaged homes. Nilda says, “4 years after Hurricane Maria and PRoTechos are truly the first people to help us.”

Nilda expresses that now that PRoTechos has rebuilt her roof, water no longer leaks into the home. The kitchen is fully functional again for her daughter and granddaughter who both love to cook and during the re-build, they cooked for the PRoTechos team every day. They are thrilled to be able to cook in a  dry kitchen once again. Nilda says, “My whole family is grateful for the work PRoTechos did on our home.” They mention that neighbors and members of the community have come by and said how great their new roof looks. 

Family and Gratitude 

This is a story of family and gratitude. A story that would not be possible without your support. For us at PRoTechos, it is one of 88 stories of resilience, family, and gratitude that we have been a part of over the last few years. And this is one story of thousands more still waiting for support across Puerto Rico. 

We will continue to work alongside these families to reach recovery. We will continue to build capacity to meet these needs through our training program. We will continue to insure safe and dry homes one roof and one family at a time. Thank you now and always for your support.

In Solidarity,

LB Cook, Director of Operations

PRoTechos

www.protechos.org

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Hi Friends, 

In our last update I shared with you a bit about our then up and coming apprentice, Denise. The team at PRoTechos has always had high hopes for Denise, and she has exceeded all of our expectations! 

Denise has graduated from carpentry apprentice to a regular member of the PRoTechos team, working alongside our foreman as an assistant carpenter, and leading and mentoring our new apprentices. Denise is the type of person that would add value to any team.  She brings enthusiasm, joy, precision and compassion to her work. Through every challenge the team faces, she helps to lift our spirits and find solutions. Denise is passionate about many things but what truly motivates her is working in solidarity and mutual respect. 

Denise lives in Luquillo and is very active in her community. The impact of her PRoTechos training and experience on her life and community is a success story on its own. Denise is a member of the Alacena Feminista group in Luquillo. When she isn’t working on roofs, connecting with the communities that PRoTechos is working in, or working on our training facility you can find her in Luquillo, taladro in hand working alongside her sisters at Alacena to build systems of aid and support for their community. 

I took a minute to talk with Denise about her experience at PRoTechos and her hopes for the future, and I would like to share that with you now. 

LB: What is your dream for PRoTechos?

Denise: I am always dreaming and since I started working at PRoTechos I have been given the opportunity to realize my dreams, to reach for them and continue to achieve my goals. Currently my dream within the organization is to connect, learn, and above all build strong roofs in all of the communities throughout the archiepelago* that need this vital and important aid.

LB: What do you love about your job?

Denise: Within my work I love the people who are part of the team, because together we have a powerful energy to build the roofs in the communities. Working on these roofs is challenging but like everything in life, when you have a positive, respectful, empathetic, supportive and energetic atmosphere, everything is possible and fun. I also love the opportunity to create ties within each community. I love constantly learning new skills and becoming a better carpenter. I have even had the opportunity to learn to work with drywall, electrical and more as  we are in the process of building the PRoTechos training center. And above all I love the possibilities that exist and that my team creates, the opportunities to constantly grow and push myself to create new things. 

LB: What does building roofs mean to you?

Denise: Building roofs for me means solidarity. It is the physical action of giving my mutual support in the communities of Puerto Rico. 

Denise is supporting the training of two new apprentices here at PRoTechos now and we are confident that her impact will continue to grow not only at PRoTechos and on the roofs of communities throughout Puerto Rico but as well as in her community. 

I look forward to sharing more about our team with you in the future, thanks for your support.

LB 

LB Cook, Director of Operations

PRoTechos

www.protechos.org

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Juan
Juan

It is the spring of 2021 and nearly four years since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island - yet thousands of residents in Puerto Rico are still living without the security of a strong roof.  At PRoTechos we continue to further our efforts of rebuilding roofs and training apprentices in order to address this issue. Through our partnership with the municipality PRoTechos continues to focus our efforts on households in Cataño, where we identified several vulnerable families who urgently need our help. Thanks to the support we are receiving from donors via GlobalGiving, we are able to meet these urgent needs. Here is the story of one family in Cataño who now has a new roof and our newest apprentice, Denise, who had a hand in making it happen.

Juan, age 61, shares his family home with his wife in Neighborhood Juana Matos.Their home sustained a great deal of damage after Hurricane Maria but that is not the only way this family suffered. Juan experienced a cerebrovascular accident soon following Hurricane Maria which has made a lasting impact on his life. Juan has worked diligently to regain his strength and the ability to speak. Little by little, Juan worked to patch and make small repairs to their roof, but the extent of the damage was so great that it required much more substantial reconstruction. A community leader shared Juan’s case with PRoTechos, and we were able to spring into action and make the repairs necessary to ensure that Juan and his wife have a strong roof for the future.

Through our work at Juan’s house, we were also able to further our mission by training our new apprentice, Denise, age 23 from Rio Piedras. Denise studied Culture and Tourism at the University of Puerto Rico. Denise was eager to join the team at PRoTechos to make an impact on her community and learn valuable skills. Denise is very attentive to detail and brings much compassion to her work. She and Juan quickly developed a friendship while working at his home and Denise would often take the lead on communicating with him throughout each step of work on his roof. These relationships of mutual support are such an important part of the work we do at PRoTechos. Denise definitely has a bright future at PRoTechos and beyond.

More than three years after Irma and Maria struck the archipelago, it is through your support that PRoTechos is capable of providing the types of support and opportunities discussed above. PRoTechos continues to provide free roofing services and technical training with the hopes of building a more resilient Puerto Rico. Thank you for helping us to support the most vulnerable households in Puerto Rico while building capacity in underserved areas where it is most needed.

Denise
Denise
Juan's Roof - BEFORE
Juan's Roof - BEFORE
Juan's Roof - AFTER
Juan's Roof - AFTER

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Organization Information

PROTECHOS INC.

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @protechos
Project Leader:
Emily Roisman
San Juan, Puerto Rico
$36,587 raised of $50,000 goal
 
249 donations
$13,413 to go
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