Further Projects

Fundación CasaBásica 2011

February 2011 │ Pencahue, Chile

Almost a year after the Chile earthquake, residents of Pencahue are celebrating a fresh start in their new homes, thanks to Deutsche Bank and Fundación CasaBásica.

After the devastating earthquake that struck Chile in February 2010, Deutsche Bank partnered with Fundación CasaBásica, a Chilean non-profit housing entity, to fund the construction of 380 new homes in Pencahue, a small rural town about 186 miles south of Santiago. Deutsche Bank employees from both the United States and Latin America traveled to Pencahue to assist in the building efforts. The new houses, which were completed by the end of September, are now occupied by people who lost their homes during the disaster. Although they are called “basic houses,” they are made out of high quality materials that protect against termites, humidity and fire. As the new owners have moved into these wooden houses, they have begun the process of rebuilding their lives and putting the trauma of the earthquake behind them. Many families have improved their houses by installing electrical systems, making enlargements, and gardening their yards, transforming these “basic houses” into their homes.

María Pizarro lives with her husband, her son and her brother. After the earthquake, they all shared a single room for several months. The close quarters began to take its toll, straining the family’s relations until CasaBásica was able to provide them their new five-room house. “I have been married for 33 years, but I had the opportunity to start all over again with my husband,” Mrs. Pizarro said. “After a ‘dark period’ the sun is shining above us again. We have our own rooms, I am living a real marriage, and we even had our second honeymoon!”

The local Mayor held a special dinner for the new homeowners, and to thank Deutsche Bank and Fundación CasaBásica for their efforts. During this ceremony, Mrs. Pizarro expressed her gratitude to everyone involved. “Thanks for thinking of us,” she said. “I never thought that companies or even people could be so generous. It is like God came to help us. This has really changed our lives. Many of us now have a better house than the ones we lost during the earthquake.”

Amazed by the outpouring of support, José Miguel Alcalde, Chile’s Chief Country Officer, noted, “We are very proud and thankful for the continuing generosity of Deutsche Bank, its employees and clients in the support of these relief operations.”

New homeowners and their families in Pencahue, Chile enlarge

New homeowners and their families in Pencahue, Chile

New homeowners and their families in Pencahue, Chile

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Last Update: March 9, 2011
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