Numerous people live in these Shanty Shacks

April 16, 2014

Shanty shacks like these are thrown together with loose pieces of metal sheeting, wood, and anything that they can find. They leak when it rains and fall down in a strong wind.I teach them to make more attractive homes using durable white plastic bag bricks. The children love to join in to help. They make a wooden brick mold,. They line it with a white plastic bag. They fill the mold with layered wet newspaper balls, mud, and crushed soda cans. Everyone takes their turn jumping on it until it's well compressed. The white plastic bag is tightly pulled over the brick, it is tightly wrapped with plastic strips cut from another bag, and the bricks are inter- connected together with the strips. A strong house wall is created using 2-3 rows of these bricks in a zig-zag pattern like a log cabin. Reoriented metal sheets make a roof. Glass from a old car make a good sunroof and windows. For the children, they think a shanty town slum has turned into a shanty town riviera.

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The Dr. Steven Hoefflin Child Poverty Program

Los Angeles, California and Guadalajara, Acapulco, and  Mexico City, Mexico