Cambiando Vidas is a U.S.-based, 501(c)(3) organization building international partnerships through the construction of houses for financially troubled families in the Dominican Republic. Cambiando Vidas is dedicated to the belief that every human being should have access to all of life’s essentials – shelter, food, clothing, education, and the opportunity to realize one’s full potential and ambitions.
The organization builds small, safe, affordable, concrete-block homes that are strong enough to survive hurricane-force storms. In addition to providing capital and labor, international teams work hand in hand with the recipient families and community volunteers who provide much of the “sweat equity”. By the end of the week-long build this unique mixing of concrete, people, and cultures reveals that people are more alike than different, and that a house is much more than a collection of concrete, metal, and wood.
Cambiando Vidas is not a charity. Every house remains the property of Cambiando Vidas until the new homeowner pays the mortgage in full. The houses remain affordable because they are made primarily with volunteer labor and the mortgages are interest free. Cambiando Vidas encourages sustainable economic development to work toward community self-sufficiency.