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January 2015

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Last year Soles de Piedra built an earthen house for a family in Guatemala for $6,000. It was a beautiful success! There were volunteers there from five different countries, and the funds were donated by people from the US, France and Mexico. Check out the video HERE

This year we will bring together another volunteer team of international natural builders and local traditional earthen builders in Tilantongo, Nochixtlán, 110km NW of Oaxaca City, Mexico, in an effort to build a home for a local Mixteca family and regenerate forest to reduce erosion in the region.

Tilantongo is among the oldest settlements in Oaxaca. It suffers one of the highest rates of erosion on the planet. Over-exploitation of natural resources dates back to the time of the Aztecs, and today Tilantongo is one of the poorest in Mexico, unable to produce enough to feed itself. The area has one of the highest levels of out-migration in Mexico. It is in great need of revitalization using sustainable solutions that can increase the quality of life and opportunity for the Mixteca people in their homeland.

Earthen building is one way to help reduce the horrific toll that current wood-frame housing takes on our forests, while providing affordable, healthy, sustainable housing. The revival of cob and other natural building techniques such as straw bale is gaining momentum each year in the West, and there is great opportunity to bridge current styles and trends with the knowledge of those who have built with the earth for generations.


The project begins the last week of January, will take about 8 weeks to complete, and will cost almost $8000 US.
The build will be an adobe/cob structure, complete with a sleeping area, kitchenette, composting toilet and shower. The roof will be a traditional palm roof, created under the direction of Honorio, the father.
The second part of the campaign will be analyzing the land and then planting hundreds of native trees and plants in the effort to combat the massive erosion problem happening in Oaxaca. It will involve volunteers from the US, Mexico, France and we hope a few others. Also the local Mixtecas and architectural students from the University of Mexico will join in the project.

Press PLAY OAXACA VIDEO to see the video on this year's project.


We need to raise $7,860 in 60 days.
The Breakdown of the funds will be as follows:
  • $1,200 for Honorio (the father) and Tigre (his son) to work with us for the duration of the project
  • Labor of local and international volunteers valued at $8,000 (Donated by volunteers)
  • $3,230 Housing and food for the volunteers and the family. (We will be sharing meals)
  • $2,250 for building materials, this includes clay earth, lime, wood, sand and local palm leaves
  • $1,175 for tools
  • Native trees and plants, Priceless (Donated by The Center of Sustainable Development of the Mixteca AC)
  • $7860 is the total budget

    If we raise more than the goal, the excess will be used to purchase solar panels for the house. The reason the total is different than what we are asking for on We the Trees is because we are fundraising outside of this site as well. With all our efforts combined we are sure we will make the goal set.
    To see the updated total we have raised outside of We the Trees check out the facebook of Soles de Piedra.


    The children’s walk to school will change from two hours to less than 10 minutes. The current commute makes consistent attendance almost impossible. Their education hinges on this project.
    The forest that starts to grow and flourish will breathe life back into the highlands of Oaxaca. The new forest will help stabilize the land, nourish the soil, reduce greenhouse effect and support an increase of wildlife.


    Soles de Piedra:
    Pedro Pizzaro, who is an architect from Mexico City
    Charly Corenjo, who is a videographer and artist from Mexico City
    David Gonzales who is a natural builder and project organizer from Detroit MI
    FB: Soles De Piedra
    Seven Fires Foundation is a U.S. based 501c3 with a parallel mission for the preservation of culture and ancient traditions. Formed by natural builder and philanthropist Tammy Van, it will serve as our fiscal sponsor and collect funds, so your donation may be tax deductible in the U.S.
    The Center of Sustainable Development of the Mixteca AC
    Israel Cortes, Biologist and Director and creator of the Organization. Their mission is restoring the pride and cultural identity of the Mixteca people in Oaxaca.


    Spread the word!
    Tell your friends and families about what we are doing.
    Support us on facebook Soles De Piedra.
    Contact us at Or visit our WE THE TREES fundraising campaign.

    Share this experience and help us create, inspire, and build a more sustainable future together.