EcoTec - 15 years under a MCR roof

15 añosMany activities have taken place under the immense roof that houses EcoTec in Jinotepe since the building was finished in 1989. The roof itself is 600 square meters (40 x 15) and, at the time, was the largest known  MCR roof. Today it is a deposit and outlet for recycled bicycles, as well as provides office facilities for EcoTec as it welcomes those interested in buying bicycles, as well as clients of its "Affordable Housing" program.

Among the first activities under this roof were a carpentry workshop and bicycle assembly plant . Although carpentry activities have ceased, and bicycle assembly has become bicycle recycling, the building continues to serve as a hive of activities as well as safe storage area for the wealth of bikes.

It provides the ideal place to sort the containers of  bicycles that arrive from Pedals for Progress. Once the bicycles have been categorized they are displayed for the public in one section of the building. It is a public that keeps its ears open for the arrival of a new shipment and the clients virtually wait in line to get the best choice. Regina is there in the office to accept payment for bicycles sales, as she does for the mortgage payments for the Economic Housing program of Sofonias.

Viviendas Económicas
The popular affordable housing" program run by EcoTec builds economic houses with an attractive design, using ecologically friendly construction materials, and affordable for both working and middle class families.  The program allows a family to obtain a dignified dwelling, without luxuries, but which is safe and attractive. The finishing touches can be done at a later date.

EcoTec manages an associated mortgage system where the down payment is 33% of the total cost, and a mortgage is granted up to eight years with a sliding interest rate depending upon the amount of down payment and length of payment time. The rule of thumb is the payment years plus 4% = total of the interest on the mortgage). In practice that means fewer years to pay and lower interest.  The program turns over in one year.

Response to the scheme is high, and includes all types of people, from a taxi driver to an architect, from a parish priest to a director of a health center. They all come and go under the immense MCR.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #11, March 2005 EcoTec - 15 years under a MCR roof


Javier GilJavier Gil
Topography Engineer, Spain
Spanish, english, french
Project management, construction, budgeting, training


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.