The building site has been thought and organised in a continuous collaboration with the local workers; in this way it has been possible to define project details in progress to get as close as possible to the local necessities.
During the construction period, which lasted a little over a year, 5 to 40 local workers were employed in alternate phases. There were language problems, as Spanish was used to communicate with the Dominican suppliers, and the basics of the Creole language were used to give instructions to the Haitian workers.
Cement and sand, needed for the construction of the anti-seismic platform and for the bricks of the houses, were instead found in the Cabo Rojo quarry, 25 km from Pedernales.
Frequent customs problems for the passage of material from the Dominican Republic to Haiti slowed down the progress of the work, and, especially in the last period, since the trucks did not have permission to cross the border, it often became necessary to carry the materials from one side of the border to the other by hand.
Moreover, the frequent interruption of power supply and the old and worn machinery available, therefore subject to continuous failures, further slowed down all the work.
Therefore, it was necessary to manufacture all the components necessary for the construction by having them custom-made by local artisans at the construction site or in the vicinity, except for wood, cement and sand.
This handicraft process took longer, but each time it had the advantage of being able to adapt the various components of the construction to the specific and present technical needs and skills of the local workforce.
Having only employed local labor made it possible to actively involve all the community of Anse-à-Pitres in the development of the project, which soon became a symbol both for the local workers who took part in the construction and for the children.
During the construction, to increase the children’s sense of belonging to their future houses, small workshops were organized where the children could propose or choose some details like the pattern and colors of the concrete platform.
The workshops were organized with the help of Haitian workers so as to provide professional examples to the older kids.