Deswos visits projects in Riobamba

Winfried Cléver, DESWOS representative for Africa and Latin America, recently visited the Nuca Huasi Project in Riobamba, Ecuador. As well as building and repairing houses, the project educates young masonry apprentices in a two year program. During his visit to three villages he encountered people working on their houses and was able to experience a minga, an ancient system of community voluntary work, where the people were making adobes for their houses.

Winfried Cléver, DESWOS Project representative for Africa and Latin America visited the Ñuca Huasi Project in Riobamba, Ecuador (co-financed by the BMZ), during a monitoring trip to Latin America.

The project consists of construction of 70 adobe houses with MicroConcrete Roofing tiles, at the same time as it educates 10 young people as masons, who learn to work with traditional materials as well as with EcoMateriales. They visited the three communities of Pulinguí, Niño Loma y Molobog where people were actually working on their houses, and were able to experience a minga (traditional voluntary work) where the people were making adobes..

Translation from Quichua to Spanish to English and from English to Spanish to Quichua prolonged the interaction in the communities, and the villagers took great pleasure as the visitor enjoyed a traditional meal of cuy (guinea pig).

The final report states that the project touches the deeper needs of the people and has a lot to do with questions about development. The sometimes hard discussions in the team clearly showed that projects like this are a major success for the rural development of the poor comunities.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #14, July 2005 Deswos visits projects in Riobamba


Marcelino Castro
Civil Engineer (MSc)
Spanish, English, Russian.
MCR tiles, instruction, quality control, experience in many cultures.



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.