Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Centro Productivo de Autoempleo

El Manana reports on a program available in Nuevo Laredo that helps needy residents make their own cinder blocks that will go towards the construction of their own homes.  The cost of making a block is one peso each.  People interested in the program are required to do all the work and provide their own help and tools as they produce the bricks.  A facility manager is on hand for guidance.

However, as homes are being built, people have to contend with looters stealing the blocks.  Scavengers either use the materials themselves or sell them to those who need 'em.  Naturally this activity is also seen at homes that have been abandoned.  Those affected have sought help from authorities.

Here in Laredo (located north of the Rio Grande), a lot of construction material goes to waste.  It is either dumped illegally on private property, or is left to pile up on people's lots.  Bricks, cinder blocks, and pieces of wood that could be reclaimed just sit idle throughout the city.  Surely there must be someone out there who could use it for something worthwhile.

Some time ago I got the crazy idea of buying and selling used bricks.  I figured I would put out the call to people in the neighborhood to bring me their unused bricks and I would compensate them with what I would determine appropriate.  If I couldn't resell the inventory, then I would have what I needed to build my own brick shed, mailbox, patio, barbecue pit, fence, etc.

I pitched this idea to a friend and he imagined junkies stealing bricks from homes to score some cash.  As a result, you would see homes all over Laredo with holes in them.  I don't know that thieves would take a pick, or hammer to homes to steal all the bricks they could, but it's certainly something to keep in mind if I decide to take on this business venture of mine.

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