With bruises, paint-stained hands and bug-bitten legs, 11 members of the Wilton Presbyterian Church returned from Nicaragua on Saturday, Aug. 1, after spending seven days helping improve the lives of an impoverished community.
Through the international nonprofit organization Bridges to Community, the group built a home for a single mother and her seven children who had been living in a one-room house made of corrugated metal, plastic, tarp paper and a sheet.
The Rev. Shannon White said she and the other 10 volunteers worked with the family to build a new home on levels of cinderblocks with metal reinforcement to withstand earthquakes.
“It was a lot of mixing concrete and making bucketloads of cement,” said 20-year-old Wiltonian Connor Brown.
From pushing wheelbarrows of gravel and sand to lifting 50-pound bags of cement, White said, the work was intense, but worth it.
One of the family members, who permanently walks on a crutch, plans to harvest coffee plants around the new home so he will no longer have to travel far. During the house dedication, White said, “his comment to us was, ‘We now have an opportunity.’”