This past week, the HEART 9/11 Ecuador Team (volunteers from Local 79 and the FDNY) partnered with the global architectural firm Perkins Eastman and Hogar de Cristo to build emergency houses in Salinas de San Vicente, the earthquake’s epicenter. Forty homes were built in five days with all manual tools: hammers, nails, and post hole diggers.

One critical component of HEART 9/11’s Rebuild program in Ecuador was to train volunteers in hard-hit communities in basic building skills. Working side by side with Local 79 and FDNY, community members learned about job safety and how to assemble emergency pre-fab houses. Community members expressed gratitude and tremendous excitement about the work that was done and the skills that were imparted to them.

Great work, Local 79, FDNY, and HEART 9/11. We are proud of, and grateful for, the work you carried out.