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  • Writer's pictureRay Sanford

Building With Heart

Volunteers from three Rotary clubs in the United States help raise the roof framing for a new home.

The Mission of the Corazón ("heart" in Spanish) organization is to build community by strengthening families, enabling service, promoting self-sufficiency, and inspiring mutually beneficial relationships across borders.

It's a unique process of developing families through vocational training, service to others in the community and the kindness of strangers.

Families that participate in the Corazón program go through a multi-year training that involves learning construction skills or for working in a maquiladora. They then volunteer to help build a community center that provides childcare and education.

Once they have volunteered a prescribed number of hours, they are then eligible to be in the drawing for a new home that is built by volunteers from both Mexico and the United States working together.

John Perry, Corazón Chair for Rotary District 5320, shows off the interior area to the new owners.

The local Corazón trainees build the cement slab for the new home. Once that is prepared, volunteers from different organizations arrive and construct the home in less than a day. Volunteers from three Rotary Clubs (San Juan Capistrano, Irvine and Yorba Linda) were the builders on May 7, 2020.

SJC Rotary Past President John Taylor inspects the building of the new home along with the new owners.

While the home is very basic by U.S. standards, it is often the first time the recipient family has had a real roof over their head. The layout includes a common area, a bedroom and a sleeping loft. A full toilet is now included thanks to the involvement of Rotary members who engineered the prototype about a decade ago.

At the end of the day, turning over the keys to the new home is quite an emotional event, with tears flowing from both the volunteers as well as the family receiving the home.

Corazón volunteers pose with the new home prior to turning it over to the new owners.


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