“Changing the future”: Construction workers report from Los Maranitos
Building a school under difficult conditions: This is probably how our project in Los Maranitos in the Dominican Republic can be described when looking at the last months. What has been the biggest challenge so far? We ask people who need to know: the local construction workers. Site manager Jeisi and his worker Yohani report
1. Tell us about yourself: Who are you and how did you get the job here?
Jeisi: My name is Jeisi and I have been working for several years as a construction manager for the Mariposa Foundation on various construction projects.
Yohani: I am Yohani Rodríguez, I am 18 years old and I was born in Los Maranitos. Because I have already gained a lot of experience as a construction worker, I was asked if I could help with the school construction. Of course, I accepted.
2. Unfortunately you could only start building later than planned. Why?
Jeisi: Because Los Maranitos is so rural, we had difficulties in obtaining and supplying the necessary material. We also had to procure special tools which we did not have – and the rain also challenged us.
Yohani: We had to adapt to the weather, so it took some time. But everyone did their best to make sure that things progressed as well as possible.
3. Is that your biggest challenge with the project, too, or what is it?
Jeisi: If you only look at the construction work, these were definitely the biggest challenges, but we have now mastered them well.
Yohani: My community faces great challenges every day, for example we have too little water for agriculture. It is also a difficult situation that the children have to go to another village after grade 4 to learn.
4. How is it going, what have you achieved so far?
Jeisi: We are very satisfied with the progress. The most important thing is that we were able to involve the community in the work and everyone is very positive. The construction itself is also progressing well, the basic construction including the roof is finished and also the work on the ground is finished.
Yohani: We are particularly far advanced with the pavilion. Here everything still needs to be polished and the lighting connected. The kitchen, storage room and bathrooms are also missing.
5. When do you want the building to be completely finished?
Jeisi: We had planned for June, but it could be that it will be delayed a bit because of the corona virus.
6. What will you do after that? Do you have any other projects you are working on?
Jeisi: First we have to finish the kitchen area, the storage and the bathroom before I start thinking about other projects.
Yohani: I don’t know yet what comes after that. I would like to study.
7. What do you think about Los Maranitos getting its own school?
Jeisi: We are very proud to be part of this project. The community is really enthusiastic and gets hope from the new school. This also motivates the children!
Yohani: The school is important because the children don’t have to leave their place to learn. They can continue to go to school when it rains.
8. Do you think that this will change something for the children and young people?
Jeisi: We definitely change the life of the young people there. With access to resources and education, this school will change the face of the community in every way.
Yohani: Yes, most students can get a clearer idea of what they want to do in the future. They can go to school close to their families and no longer have to take risks on the long road. Since they no longer have to work in other villages, the teachers of the new school can now work in a more concentrated way.