Providing Cement Floors to Increase Health Security
A cement floor is one of the more laborious projects, but it is one that has a profound impact on community members. Cement floors replace the traditional dirt floors that exist in most Dominican households. These dirt floors cause respiratory illness, become muddy and soft when it rains, and create an overall unsafe and unclean environment to live in. Volunteers engage in mixing the cement for the house and with the help of local masons, create a finished product of a smooth cement floor. For an average 4 room house, 20 bags of cement are required. Often times upwards to 6 to 8 people occupy a very small 2 or 4 room house. While the process is laborious, the entire floor can be completed from start to finish in one service day, giving volunteers an opportunity to participate in all steps of a project in addition to working alongside local experts. Additionally, these floors have an immediate direct impact on the community members who live there. Their environment is immediately safer and cleaner creating an increased standard of living for those who live there. These floors are highly sustainable and if properly maintained will not have to be replaced for upwards of 20 years. These floors prevent respiratory illness, GI infections, parasites, and provides structural integrity to houses so that they are not severely negatively impacted by volatile weather.