Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity

Our experience building in Santa Fe was truly wonderful. Working alongside multiple homeowners, a core group of dedicated and knowledgeable local volunteers, fellow Care-a-Vanners, and the amazing crew at Santa Fe Habitat was a real delight and – as always – very educational. Both Rob the Construction Director and Alex the Assistant Construction Director went out of their way to explain the mission of the affiliate and their response to local challenges as well as answer all our questions regarding the specifics of construction techniques used in Santa Fe; of great interest to me were the detailed explanations of the energy-efficient measures undertaken and the types of environmentally-friendly building techniques incorporated. Sophia, the Director of Volunteer and Family Services, also answered all our questions in bulk relating to affiliate organization, partner family selection, as well as the (high) cost of living and lack of affordable housing in Santa Fe. Sophia also went above and beyond to make sure we were well fed and had everything we needed prior to and during our build.

There were 4 houses under various stages of construction while we were there; in addition, one home had just been turned over to a family the previous week and the next house was awaiting the foundation to be poured. I spent the first couple days primarily making outdoor coyote fences which was followed in our remaining days by various other tasks such as staining the portales (porch beams), flashing windows, nailing on lintels and drip edge, sheeting one of the houses in insulating blue board, installing brackets for overhead lighting, and hanging drywall. Other people worked on ventilation and duct work, roofing, painting, landscaping, concrete sidewalk forms, interior floor sealing, and more. As I mentioned, there were a lot of people on site and so a lot was going on – and getting done: the organization and teamwork was impressive and the other volunteers were a real pleasure to work with. We are already looking forward to returning to build with Santa Fe Habitat!

Not all the photos below were taken by me, but they are a sampling of what was going on around the job sites during our time in Santa Fe:

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