In the last financial year, Community Housing Latin America SpA (CHLA) extended its operations to the South of Chile, working on a project to deliver housing for the Mapuche community in Lautaro which is near the regional centre of Temuco.
The Mapuche are an Indian tribe, original inhabitants of Southern Chile, who in 1553 led by their leader, Lautaro, defeated the Spanish which had conquered the region leading to a period of resistance lasting more than 300 years.
The Mapuche have been campaigning for return of their ancestral lands in recent years and CHLA has been working with the community to assist them out of housing poverty and give them good quality housing on the land of the ancestors.
The project includes the construction of quality built 22 units, of which eleven units have been completed with the remaining units expected to be delivered in 2015. The floor space of CHL built units is 60m2 as opposed to the standard 45m2 which has not been done previously.
The Mapuches maintain many traditional habits and customs. The house designs are a take on their traditional house – “ruka” – incorporating culturally important features, such as the east-west orientation of the house, with the door opening towards the east. Only the foundations are of concrete, with a prefab formwork to accelerate construction. The interior structure is of wood and gypsum boards.
The project is funded by a combination of private finance and subsidy by the Chilean Government which is provided to the families most in need. They have to meet the eligibility criteria to receive a subsidy.
According to Michael Bier, Country Director for CHL South America, “although complex and very challenging, building 800km from CHLA’s Valparaiso office and in the country side, away from all urban infrastructure, our first project for Indigenous Indians in Chile is turning out well. It is highly appreciated by the families and shows the feasibility, to deliver a good quality affordable house, a design respecting tradition, materials which last and with a size, and which enables parents and children to live a family life without constraints.”
For more information contact:
Preeti Daga t 0430 555 241 e firstname.lastname@example.org