Liz Johndrow, Founder
Also the founder of Earthen Endeavors, a natural building firm. I enjoy spaces that bring me in touch with my natural surroundings. As a builder, I was thrilled to discover I could bring that contact deeper into my home experience through my choice of building materials. Since that discovery, I have been exploring the world of cob, strawbale, adobe, earthbag, earthen plasters and floor systems, and timber framing. The simplicity of these systems and materials allow for people of all ages and abilities to participate. The past few years have taken me further into the role of teacher, facilitator, instructor and collaborator. I am increasingly passionate about helping others learn these skills so they in turn can share their vision of beautiful, sustainable, and socially just structures. My more recent work in Nicaragua with the women and youth in the northern pueblos has been my most challenging and rewarding work thus far.
NICARAGUA GROUND TEAM
Fabi was born in Guatemala. She is committed to work on social and environmental projects around Central America. Since she first experienced Natural Building she discovered a new world and immediately fell in love with the concept, the process, the endless possibilities to create and most importantly, the positive impact that has on people, communities and the environment. She has taken part in natural building projects around Guatemala, Nicaragua and México. She is currently part of the on ground team that will be working with Liz and The Pueblo Project in 2016.
Gabriel is a natural builder that works and lives in Moab, UT. He has been dedicated to working in Spanish speaking communities and working in all aspects of non-profit operations, serving as interpreter, mentor, advisory board member, event organizer, volunteer coordinator, and project supervisor. Before graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Spanish and International Studies, Gabriel went to two-way Spanish/ English bilingual schools in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He lived and studied for one year in South America and has participated in service projects in Peru and the Dominican Republic. When not serving as a Pueblo Project team member on the ground in Nicaragua, Gabriel works for Eco Logic Design Build in Moab specializing in straw bale houses and natural plaster techniques.
Valerie has been interested in natural building ever since attending the Portland based City Repair Organization’s “Village Building Convergence” in 2008. She loves how it’s possible to build beautiful and sturdy shelters from materials you can easily find. Valerie is the Founder of Aril Consulting, a worker-owned fundraising consulting business and she has 10 years experience in the non-profit sector. With a B.A. in International Relations and History from Boston University, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from University of Washington, and a Certificate in Sustainable Design/Build in the works from Yestermorrow Design & Build School, Valerie brings her experience with natural building, fundraising, and international development together for this project. She currently lives in Seattle, WA, USA and dreams of building an earthen home some day.
Susan was born in California in 1948 and spent her first 20 adult years in Cincinnati, Ohio teaching science in the inner city, as well as college electronics and working in the semi-conductor industry. In 1989 she moved to Nicaragua to join the National Engineering University (UNI) where she grew into a promoter of human dignity via promoting science and sustainable use of resources particularly renewable energies. With her students she co-founded Grupo Fenix and was named Director of the Alternative Energy Sources Program at the UNI and since 2005 has focused this work with the Solar Women of Totogalpa in rural Nicaragua “Creating a Solar Culture.” She has played a major role in natural building coming to her region.
Helen is currently technical coordinator at La Asociación de Mujeres Constructoras de Condega (AMCC), is a carpenter who has dedicated the last twenty years focusing on the empowerment of women and young people through working in different technical skills and trades. She has a masters in Education for Sustainability, which included participative research on empowerment of local women. For the last 10 years she has worked on the promotion and development of alternative energy technologies and improved adobe and natural building, particularly in the northern Nicaraguan context, which has included a model smallholding which works with diverse systems which she and her partner have established since 2001.
After spending many summers working with her carpenter-father, and receiving a bachelor's degree in early childhood education like her teacher-mother, Kate has forged herself a sort of odd but lovingly tromped pathway that allows a bit of footwork in both fields. She has taught kindergarten in Massachusetts, spent 3 years creating a garden-based Outdoor Classroom program at an elementary school in San Francisco, and currently works as a natural builder and carpenter out of Oakland, CA. She is passionate about justice and equity in a world that is anything but. She loves regenerative systems, earth plaster, encouraging people to get mud on their hands, and thinks that building with clay and straw is one of the most joyous and community conducive activities around. The Pueblo Project's work to support communities in their own efforts to maintain and enhance traditional building practices and to put those skills into the hands of women and youth, is one that has been easy for her to get behind.
Dave admires so much about natural building and wishes he could spend his time playing in the mud and building homes. Instead, he is currently living in Washington DC where he works as the 2017 Campaign Coordinator for the international anti-poverty nonprofit ATD Fourth World. Before joining ATD, he worked for the Local Economies Project, an initiative of the New World Foundation that works to support sustainable agriculture in New York's Hudson Valley.
Dave first gained experience in nonprofit advocacy and communications as part of the Permacyclists Project (www.permacyclists.com), a three-year overland journey through Africa and Latin America (via North Carolina, where we met Liz and Val) making documentary films about grassroots environmental initiatives. Dave is also an avid knitter.