Projects – Habitat Reconstruction In The Mountain Region Of Guerrero

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The heavy rains and landslides caused by weather events Manuel and Ingrid on September 15th and 16th in the State of Guerrero in southern Mexico, affected over 230,000 people. The event caused serious damage to communication lines, houses, crops and several farm animal losses were recorded.

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As part of the humanitarian emergency in the Mountain Region of Guerrero, Cooperación Comunitaria made donations to the communities that were cut-off from communication and that hadn’t received any kind of help. Three communities asked Cooperación Comunitaria for their collaboration in reconstructing their communities.

An assessment was done in the Municipality of Malinaltepec, in order to measure the damage to houses, crops and lands. Houses in general, self-built with adobe by the inhabitants and with tin roofs, showed damage caused by geophysical conditions of the region (mountainous, seismic zone D and winds that reach an average of 120km/h), but also caused by the lack of technical transmission that even the inhabitants incurred over the years. This resulted in the weather events damaging houses even more than they could have been damaged, had they continued building under the technical principles of building with adobe.

After analyzing the damages and their causes, Cooperación Comunitaria made a community assessment in 25 other communities in order to know if the lack of technical transmission was repeated throughout all communities.

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Damage to the houses is accompanied by the partial or total destruction of the cornfields (basic and essential food source), coffee planting and fruit trees (only productive source) and in several cases their farm animals.

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This resulted in a food crisis for the population there because they do not have enough food to cover their basic needs.

The project, which will be undertaken with the inhabitants of the Me´Phaa municipality of Malinaltepec, consists in:

– Conducting a geological study at the community in order to determine the risk zones and possible relocations.

– Reconstructing 53 adobe houses, that were totally and partially damaged, and self-build 167 adobe and super adobe houses in 3 communities, by means of increasing the self-building skills of the population.

– Reactivating the production of 46 cornfields for family on-farm consumption, organically and with an adequate nutrition of the lands in order to avoid crop rotation.

– Conducting a reforestation project with endemic varieties that will initially help avoid landslides, and secondly recover the environment.




The reconstructed house will be reinforced against possible damage caused by natural phenomena. Similarly, an improvement of tin roofs will be conducted by means of isolating them with a local organic material.


The Mountain Region of Guerrero includes 85% of the indigenous population (Me´phaa, Ñuu´savi and Nahua) of the State, and is considered to be the most disadvantaged of the country. During the weather events, 40 thousand people were affected in 13 municipalities. 3 thousand 589 houses recorded cracks or subsiding soil; thousand 315 houses were dragged along with landslides and 297 were dragged by rivers.

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Six municipalities were the most affected in the region and they had the longest response time on behalf of authorities: Acatepec, Malinaltepec, Tlacoapa, Iliatenco, Copanatoyac and Metlatónoc – Cochoapa. In those municipalities, the landslide situation is very serious, it is estimated that in more than 80 communities there is damage to houses and parcels of land.

6 months after the events, approximately 18 communities in the municipality of Malinaltepec are still living in camps, the houses they owned collapsed partially, they haven’t received any kind of support to reconstruct, and crops are cleaned by the inhabitants in order to prepare their cornfield and be able to plant in May. Food is beginning to be scarce and lands are still not productive due to the lack of support to purchase seeds for planting.




Recover the self-productive knowledge and skills of the Me´Phaa population in the communities El Obispo, Natividad and el Paraíso, Municipality of Malinaltepec, in order to reconstruct the habitat and to improve the habitability, contributing to a sustainable and safe development.

Project: Isadora Hastings, Gerson Huerta.

Project Coordination: Chloé Rotureau, Ingrid Schild (Germany).

Fund raising: : Elis Martínez, José Julio Avila.

Nutrition and Health: Guillermo Fuentes. Assessment: : Adrian Gonzalez.

Sustainable agriculture: Sofia Rivera, Salvador Herrera, Fernando Ortiz, Manuel Espinosa (Natural Harvesting).

Advisor of tests on land and adobe: Dr. Luis Fernando Guerrero Baca (UAM-X).

Advisor on architectural design for disaster: Arq. Joel Audefroy.

Geological analysis and risk plan: Dr. Rosalva Pérez (UAG). Assessment: : Jorge Mengelle (National Autonomous University of Mexico).

Reforestation analysis and plan: Julio Cesar Valdez.


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