Making tiles is like making tortillas: MCR tile course in Guatemala

Martin Melendez   

During the last weeks of August, German Jiménez trained twenty women from the community of San José Argueta in Solola, Guatemala in various aspects of MCR production. The training includes themes such as preparation of the mixture, fabrication of the tiles, curing, quality control, and placing tiles on the roof.


German Jiménez, better known as “Min”, is perhaps the person who has trained most people how to produce Micro Concrete Roofing tiles and lay them on the roof. For this reason, many months ago Martha Aurora de la Roca, coordinator of the TMC project in San José Argueta, has been asking that Min give a course and, for one reason or other, it had been difficult that Min go to Guatemala. Finally, in August we could arrange everything and Min went to Guatemala to give this long-awaited course.

The three-weeks training (from August 18 to September 1) enjoyed the active participation of the women tof San José Argueta. They touched such themes as materials used in the production of MCR tiles, the quantity of water required for the mixture, production of the tiles, fabrication of the equipment for the ridge tiles and the water runoffs. As well they worked on the quality control tests for the tiles and made a roof together with a carpinter (the husband of one of the tilemakers) so that they would know how to lay the tiles of the roofs.

Maria José, on of the course participants commented: “Making these tiles and making tortillas is similar, the difference is that one needs corn and the other cement.” Milagros, another women in the course added: “And both are necessary, one for alimentation and the other to roof our houses.”

According to Martha Aurora the training was a success and the community is more than satisfied with the work of Min, so much so that they gave him a diploma of recognition and a warm farewell

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