Tijuana, Mexico

Building Partner: Corazón

The Corazón homebuilding model promotes self-sufficiency as it provides opportunities for service and contributes to the creation of a sustainable community and a better future for everyone involved. Corazón's deep ties to the communities within Tijuana run back to 1972, when the founders first started providing services to the residents of a marginal community on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, known as Pedregal. Since then Corazón has served over 7,000 participants in 7 different communities building a total of 1,500 homes.


A 20 minute drive south west from the Otay Mesa border crossing is a neighborhood predominantly made up of families who work in maquiladoras (factories) or construction. The average wage here varies between $25 USD and $50 USD per week. The roads here are all dirt, except for the main entrance, which is only partially paved. The terrain is rugged, demarcated by steep inclines and declines so when it rains the streets become impassable and mudslides can occur. In the upper parts of this neighborhood, there is no running water, electricity, garbage collection, or sewage system. The Homes here are typically constructed from second-hand lumber, the kind that people find after a construction project ends or when houses are torn down. The roofs usually consist of a mixture of used tarps, scraps of plastic and tin sheets. Each family assembles their homes based on the materials they can afford, anything that they are unable to purchase they are forced to salvage from the surrounding area.

"It is truly inspiring to see volunteers and neighbors from the local community all come together and be an active part of empowering families to improve their own living conditions. We are building something life changing". - Jenn Allen, Executive Director Corazón