Visit to housing developments in Colombia and Ecuador

Cuban and Nicaraguan technicians visited different housing projects in Colombia and Ecuador, in order to exchange experiences about building issues and design norms, and to learn about the management processes used by FENAVIP and the Construction Company, El Cuspide.
Simultaneously they participated in the Housing Congress organized by EcoSouth Colombian partner FENAVIP (National Federation of Popular Housing), where they contributed with their experiences in the manufacture and installation of roofs with micro-concrete tiles.


FENAVIP encompasses some 250 organizations interested in bring housing projects to their own areas, with the support and norms already established by FENAVIP.
FENAVIP operates as a corporate solidarity group composed of a credit and saving co-operative association and an educational corporation which take care of all its activities. There are also autonomous popular organizations gathering together families interested in housing: a group called HECHOS, in charge of communication matters and that elaborates publicity and capacitation materials, as well as a technical group that elaborates and implements the projects.
They count on the Organization for Popular Housing Organization, which is a very important factor for such projects. First, a solicitation process is started, as well as promotion in the workers sector either through unions or direct human relations. Community education campaigns concerned with social economy, savings, subsidies, housing development, as well as a process of diffusion of the project and/or parallel programs, are also implemented, all with a participatory component.
At the same time, the process of solid saving is going on through three basic components: programmed saving, which consists of an initial quota provided by the beneficiary; the housing subsidy, provided by the state, and the complementary credit, facilitated by FENAVIP by means of its Credit and Saving Co-operative Association (CREAR in Spanish).
A high level of communitary organization and good relationship with beneficiaries are among the most important factors for FENAVIP to attain relevant results.

Other experiences
In Ecuador, visitors learned about the experience of a private construction company, “La Cuspide”, which has implemented a system whereby the beneficiary contributes an initial quota of 30% – not necessarily paid entirely, but by quotas depending on the agreement with the construction company. The other 70% comes from a bank, after previous qualification for a credit. La Cuspide starts building the house once the beneficiary covers all the requirements and is accepted by the bank.
The maximum use of minimum spaces in the house, as well as pedestrian walkways and common public spaces in the community, integrated with each house at the same time as being public spaces. In spite of being dense buildings, the architectural design has been maintained.
In both projects visited, whether popular housing in Colombia or middle class housing in Ecuador, the houses all have a high quality finish and spaces are wider but internally open, creating a harmonic unit.
The visitors could also witness another important factor: organization, both in projects of social interest and in private ones. In the first case, due to the support of organizations, the government and the community; and in the second place, due to the efficient management of very good quality projects with little personnel. Its basis lies in organized team work in which the action of each member is optimized and materialized in projects where no single detail is underestimated.

You are here: Home Past editions December 2002 Visit to housing developments in Colombia and Ecuador


Diego Coloma
Diego Coloma MachadoEcuadorean
Mechanic technician
Spanish, english
Installation, training and setup of workshops: MicroConcrete Roofing tiles, Puzzolanic cement, concrete precasts.


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