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Hope AGUA VITA Media Release

Doug Tarry from Doug Tarry Homes recently returned from leading HOPE AGUA VITA a Rebuilding / Recovery Mission to the village of San Lorenzo in Morovis, Puerto Rico from January 27th to February 3rd. The mission team consisted of 12 volunteers in a variety of disciplines from the home building industry. The mission was called “Bring Back The Music” as a symbolic nod to the street music of the Caribbean having been replaced by the sound of generators and because the lack of music is a representation of how scared and traumatized the residents are from Hurricane Maria. The attached video, was at one of the homes being repaired at the end of the day. Leon Bach a mission specialist and Chief Building Official for Central Elgin and a member of the Ontario Building Officials Association shared the spirit of our mission with Norma, one of our chief translators.

“Our primary focus was on repairing the roofs damaged by Hurricane Maria. Nearly every home in San Lorenzo suffered damage from the hurricane, with many suffering catastrophic damage.” During the mission, the HOPE AGUA VITA team were able to engage with local residents to help educate them on safer, more durable, hurricane resistant construction techniques. Some highlights:

  • The team was able to complete two full wood frame roof systems during the mission. 
    • This included being able to demonstrate more durable construction  techniques such as,
    • how to protect the wood framing with water resistant membranes
    • how to strengthen the framing to make the home more hurricane resistant.
  • Another focus of the team was teaching residents how to repair concrete roofs, many of which did not have a proper weather sealing barrier. This resulted in the creation of their own concrete repair team that we will be mentoring into a sustainable small business.
    • The team purchased the necessary equipment for cleaning, scraping and repairing roofs as well as for applying the permanent membrane.
    • Professional product specialists for repairing and waterproofing concrete roofs, including training sessions with our local San Lorenzo team members.
    • Materials for complete repair of four concrete roofs.

“One of the things that I found most rewarding was seeing the members of the community begin to come out to help with the repair efforts. I am sure it must have been very intimidating to see these big, tough Canadian construction workers moving so fast. But they got used to us and what we were doing and then they became interested and engaged. It was especially rewarding to help teach all the residents, men and women, better construction methods so that their homes would be safer, healthier and more durable.” DT

In addition, the community public school was supported with materials and equipment for their agriculture, phys ed, science and music classes.

The next mission to San Lorenzo Puerto Rico is being planned for May 5th to 12th, 2018. The goal of this next mission is to rebuild 2-3 homes and multiple wood frame roofs at the same time as continuing to train the local residents and government officials on more sustainable construction practices. All mission participants pay their own way and monies raised are used to support the mission.

For more information on HOPE AGUA VITA, go to or Donations can be made at To arrange an interview, or request video or picture images for publication contact Doug Tarry at