Fair Trek ECO Bungalow Project Luang Prabang, Second Village Construction.
Community tourism project under way in Luang Prabang Province. Building with Clay/Earth and with the help of Volunteers. This initiative for sustainable tourism is unique. Our mission, “tourism benefiting communities” is carried out…
After the successful construction of a beautiful ECO-Bungalow in 2012, we continued the project in another village this year. Located in Nong Khuay, a village surrounded by wonderful mountains and jungle, we got help from volunteers from all over the world to make this happen. It didn’t matter that some were 16 years old and others in their 40’s, all of them pitched in, and without them, this tangible structure would not have been possible.
The bungalow is, as the previous one, made mostly out of clay. Close to the construction site is a mud pool, where we started out, by walking around, softening up the mud. Personally this was my favorite activity, as I felt like I was a kid again, playing around in the deep mud.
The next step was to put the mud in buckets and a wheelbarrow, in order to take it to an open space where we put the mud in forms and let it dry. Since it took the mud 10 days to dry, we continuously had to do this, so that we always had dried clay bricks to work with. When dry, the shaping began. Using a machete, we shaped the bricks to perfect rectangular shapes, ready to become part of the walls.
The actual construction of the wall was also super fun. We used non-processed mud between the clay bricks, in order to make it stick.
However, not only the volunteers were the ones helping out. The local villagers came down to the site and helped us, the youngest one a wonderful little girl of two and a half years.
When the project is done the villagers will take control of the bungalow and use it to rent it out to tourists, receiving all the income from the bungalow. This will create jobs and cash income in the village, hopefully getting them started on a path to a better way of life, with a higher standard of living.
I think I can talk for all volunteers who visited us here in Laos and got involved, when I say that this was a great experience.
It has been extremely educating, working in such a remote village and eye-opening, trying to live as these people live every day of their lives, without all the luxuries we take for granted. Mostly I would say it was great fun working with this project, playing with the mud and meeting people, with a completely different way of life.
For more information, search this blog for more stories and news