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Central AmericaMexico

Reconstruction of affected communities after the earthquake in 2017

Even two years after the disastrous earthquake in Mexico, thousands of houses are still badly damaged. Many families do not have the financial means to repair or rebuild their houses, nor do they receive any government support. Together with our local partner, we support affected families in Morelos.

Auch zwei Jahre nach dem Erdbeben sind tausende Häuser noch schwer beschädigt und müssen neu errichtet werden. (Foto: AWO International)
Auch zwei Jahre nach dem Erdbeben sind tausende Häuser noch schwer beschädigt und müssen neu errichtet werden. (Foto: AWO International)

The earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, on 19th September 2017 killed a total of 369 people in Central Mexico. Many buildings collapsed as a result of the quake or were severely damaged, making some uninhabitable. The state of Morelos, which borders Mexico City to the north, was hit hardest by the earthquake. This was the epicenter of the quake. There were 74 fatalities in the state. Of the 30 boroughs of Morelos, 20 were badly affected and some boroughs had to be completely rebuilt. In total, about 20,000 houses in the state were severely damaged.

Two years later, help is still needed

Despite government financing and reconstruction programmes, many families are still affected by the consequences of the severe earthquake. They do not have the financial means to rebuild or renovate their houses and are not eligible for government aid. In 2018, AWO International identified the organization Fundación Comunidad in Cuernavaca, which has been active in community development since 1996 and implements programmes focusing on equality, education, the environment and youth.

Together with our partner, two communities in the state were selected where Fundación Comunidad was already active. Seven families from the communities of Xoxocotla in the southwest of Morelos and Ocuituco in the northeast, were selected to rebuild or repair permanent damage to their homes with funds from Aktion Deutschland Hilft.

The participatory development project

The 14 families selected had no access to state aid programmes, for example because they do not have a land register entry with their name because they share the land with several family members. An important selection criterion for Fundación Comunidad and AWO International was the willingness of the families to actively participate in the construction or renovation of their house, as well as to participate in further education and pass on their knowledge to other community members.

Although the families are to organize themselves with their relatives, friends and neighbors to actively participate in the construction work, they are of course supported by experts from nearby universities and architects. The aim of the project is to strengthen community cohesion. Local products will be used for the construction or local suppliers will be contacted. At the same time, the houses will be equipped with environmentally friendly features, such as a water tank or compost system.

Training for all members of the congregation

The selected families also receive further training by Fundación Comunidad and AWO International on the following topics: active civic participation, conflict resolution in the family and neighbourhood, gender equality and behaviour in crisis situations (evacuation routes, emergency protocols, etc.). The participants should pass on their acquired knowledge to their neighbours in the community to ensure an informed community.


Project Reconstruction of the destroyed houses from the earthquake of September 19, 2017
Place/Region Xoxocotla and Ocuituco in Morelos State, Mexico
Partner Fundación Comunidad AC
Target group Families affected by the earthquake whose houses were seriously damaged or completely destroyed
  • reconstruction or renovation of destroyed houses in Xoxocotla and Ocuituco
  • Workshops with families on social participation, conflict resolution in communities, gender equality and disaster prevention/protection
Duration Februar - Dezember 2019
Budget 85.187 Euro
Sponsor Aktion Deutschland Hilft

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