January 11, 2002

Tijuana NGOs Build Homes and Children's Emergency Room

Low-Income Housing

In 2001, Tijuana's Fundación Esperanza (the Hope Foundation) supported the building of 40 homes for low-income families. The construction of the 40 homes cost just 1,440,000 pesos (approximately US$157,000) or 36,000 pesos (US$3,900) each, according to technical director Apolonio Rodríguez Barba.

Families contributed financially to the construction of their homes by participating in the foundation's savings program. Each week, for an average of eight months, families would set aside between 80 and 120 pesos (US$8.70-$13.04). The foundation then provided up to 80% of the homes' construction costs.

Building expenses were also kept low because foundation volunteers helped families make their own bricks used in the construction of walls.

In early January, 2002, more home construction will be initiated in Tijuana's Salvatierra neighborhood. The Fundación Esperanza plans to build 48 low-income homes in 2002.

Last year, for the first time, the Baja California state government contributed funds to the foundation's building pro-jects. Through its office of social development the state contributed more than 1,000,000 pesos last year.

Children's Emergency Room

The Rotary Club of Tijuana has invested US$100,000 to build Tijuana's first children's emergency room. Genaro López Moreno, president of the city's Rotary Club, said that construction of the pediatric emergency room began three months ago. The structure is 60% complete and construction should be finished in July, 2002.

Rotary decided to finance the project after learning that the city of 1.2 million people had no emergency room dedicated to children. López said that children currently go to the general emergency room where they are surrounded by things like adult gun-shot and auto-accident victims. This is too traumatic an experience for children, according to López.

Rotary has said that it will help pay to equip the pediatric emergency room and Tijuana's new mayor Jesús González Reyes stated that he will match Rotary's contribution dollar for dollar.

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