In 2011 I received a job proposal to be in charge of the execution of civil works in Valencia - Carabobo - Venezuela.
After agreeing on the working conditions, which included a transportation unit with driver for our daily transportation, approximately 80 km from my home to the most remote neighborhood, I agreed to join the company as Civil Works Coordinator.
The work with PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela) consisted, in this first phase, of complying with the popular housing program established by the national government through what is called GMVV (Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela). It is well known that there is a great housing deficit in Venezuela and this program, which is strongly charged with a political-social aspect, was aimed at alleviating this situation.
The GMVV had or has 3 vertexes.
1. Construction and Allocation of Housing
2. Expansions and Improvements in existing Housing
3. Replacement of Ranch for House
And we had to start in the program ....
Replacing Ranch for House
From my point of view the program with the greatest social impact, due to the circumstances surrounding it, as ....
A. Direct and daily contact with community leaders.
B. Contact with the beneficiary
C. Permanence in the community and its problems.
Women leaders of the El Buen Samaritano Community
As in any community or social group, there are those who in one way or another stand or are elected as standard bearers, heads or spokespersons of these communities. In this case, I could only accept or recognize the leadership of the so-called Communal Council and, with its main spokesman, make decisions or accept its proposals, with the exception of those of my exclusive competence from the technical point of view. I explained them, ordered their execution and watched over their correct fulfillment.
Bases or Scope of the Program
1. Selection of the beneficiary (No competition).
2. Beneficiary's site visit (My competence)
3. Request for eviction from the ranch (Shared Competence)
Example of beneficiary family
Demolition of the Ranch
Once the ranch is vacated, the beneficiary is in charge and has the right to remove all his belongings, I issue the order for the machines to proceed to demolish, pile, load and dump the debris resulting from the demolition.
Machine in the middle of demolition
What is the socio-economic situation?
The beneficiary must completely vacate the plot, the construction of some kind of provisional annex is not allowed, this obliges him to: 1:
1. move temporarily to a family member's house.
2. Rent temporarily (1 month)
3. Move in with a neighbor.
Any of these aspects generate expenses and inconveniences and it is NOT possible to guarantee that in 30 days you will receive your new home.
Stakeout of the Work
The work is cleaned up and staked out, with the respective movement of earth, discarding inappropriate material and cutting or filling with suitable material, duly compacted, in order to level the plot.
Pouring of the floor slab:
Once the ground is prepared, we proceed to the placement of the reinforcing steel (infrastructure), excavation in trenches for the placement of service pipes, placement of ½" steel rods of starter for the reinforcement of the type of housing with prefabricated polyurethane panels. Anchoring system to support the metal structure. Next, the concrete is poured with ready-mixed concrete of Rcc250 strength.
Assembling the house
Once the floor slab is ready, it is delivered to the assemblers, an activity that is generally subcontracted to cooperatives that were formed by PDVSA - PETROCASA. The assembly and pouring is done in 3 days, then 3 days of work by the blacksmiths to install the columns and roof structure, all metallic.
Then the roof, doors and windows installers intervene.
Once these steps have been completed, the PDVSA Engineer Inspector draws up the certificate of reception of the houses (this is the extent of my responsibility), it is handed over to the Community Council and they in turn hand it over to the beneficiary.
I was responsible for the development of five (5) popular neighborhoods in the southern area of Valencia, namely:
El Buen Samaritano 186 beneficiaries
Democracia A and B 41 beneficiaries
Próceres de la Florida 35 beneficiaries
Bolivariano 35 beneficiaries.
Curiosities or Observations:
It is surprising that our popular communities are something like "gynecocracy", in all the neighborhoods where I was working the leadership was assumed by women, from the most important decision making, to the simplest errand!
They all know each other perfectly, at the time of making the selection of the people to benefit from the program at no time I did not deprive any political condition, although in private they told me of their tendency.
In the first 6 months the Good Samaritan Community Council appointed a security commission that constantly accompanied me throughout the neighborhood to provide me with personal safety, I felt like Jupiter and his ring.
Social - Human Aspect:
Interviewing each one of the beneficiaries becomes a unique experience, in other opportunities I have worked in social programs, but I had never felt the impact as deeply as in this opportunity.
The type of problems are so varied, some to sit down and cry and others to be surprised by the illogical, like seeing children sleeping on a cot on the floor, in a state of incredible overcrowding and yet to see that they have a 32" TV and cable TV system, the antenna alone has more value than the boards and sheets that make up the hut!
Even my buttons were pending!
Members of the community pending of the works (Social Controllership).
This writing will be the first chapter of a series of 3, in the second one I will talk about Urbanism in Los Barrios and in the third one about the security within the community, mine and that of the company and my workers.
Photographic support and original writing by oizaguirres.
Original writing for read.cash
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)