Since the earthquake, the main focus of everyone involved in Proyecto Samán has been the same: to move forward for a chance at a better future. Proyecto Samán is not only providing the families in the community with the opportunities for land, work, and sustainability that they would not have had otherwise, but it is essentially providing them with stability for the first time in their lives. Though the houses built by and for the families are quite basic, each of them will provide the families with the three things they have never had before: electricity, water, and sanitation. For many of us, electricity, water, and sanitation are easily attainable, but for these families, they are brand new luxuries.
In order to make the new houses feel more like “homes,” families are free to add on and decorate as they please. In fact, Evelina is so excited to decorate her new home that she has already picked out and bought fabric to make curtains that she will use for the windows. Because working in the fields so much has taken a big toll on Evelina’s body, particularly her legs, she is looking forward to spending some time focusing on making decorations for her home as well as having a place to sew and weave so that she can sell her creations.
As Proyecto Samán continues to develop and the families involved continue to grow, so has the land for the community. Proyecto Samán was recently granted an entire new hectare of land to be used for agriculture. Many of the residents are excited about this, especially Luis – he loves farming, but has spent most of his life unable to find a stable farming job or stable land to be able to farm, so he is thrilled to have the opportunity to eat and sell his own crops. The community also plans to join a farming co-op so as to keep a steady amount of buyers of the crops grown at Samán, so it is expected that the community’s agricultural sector will prosper.
In the coming years, Proyecto Samán hopes that the tight-knit community that has been built will continue to grow and that the communities around them will join Samán. While this past year has been focused on bringing the families at Samán together to work on stabilization, now that the families are finding work and homes, Samán is trying to branch out and become a bigger part of the community of Canoa. Once Samán is more developed, the community even hopes to be able incorporate tourism; Canoa is a tourist town, so it is the hope that Samán will be able to bring in tourists that come to Canoa and invite them to be a part of the community.