First MCR encounter in Cali, Colombia

Milbany Vega Salinas - Fundación ProCoNat   

ECOSouth held the first MCR Encounter to promote and disseminate MCR technology in Cali, Colombia, on September 29, 2003, in conjunction with the opening of the ProCoNat MCR workshop. This also helped form a strategic alliance among the ECOSouth Network, and the ProCoNat Foundation (Natural Construction Processes), SENA (Center for Construction of the National Apprentice Service) and SINDICONS (Colombian National Union of Construction Workers).


Within a period of eight hours 24 people from different Colombian cities were exposed to MCR technology, through presentations by EcoSur Ecuador, and Pedro Villarreal of ProCoNat. The theoretical-practical focus of the encounter more than satisfied the expectations, and the participants expressed great interest in the technological innovations of Ecomaterials in the Latin American context.

Each of the participants was able to produce a tile, and in this way confirm how easy it is. The participation of Hernán Laverde, de FENAVIP (National Federation of Popular Housing), was significant, as it was possible to learn of other experiences of MCR in Colombia, and confirm that MCR is an innovative alternative for housing.

The visit of the ECOSouth representatives to Cali opens new possibilities to disseminate MCR and Ecomaterials technologies in Colombia. It has also helped to share experiences and has lead to an important interchange with academic institutions that would like to include this theme in their curriculum.

The success of the encounter in Cali opens up the possibility to repeat this experience in the country, on the one hand, focusing upon education and qualification of the construction union in the production of alternative construction materials and, on the other hand, generating a social awareness towards preservation of natural resources and to decrease the negative impact on the environment created by traditional production of construction materials.

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Víctor Martínez
Civil Engineer
MCR tiles, instruction, quality control, project management.


In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.