In developing countries, most construction activity is done by masons with deficient technical knowledge and by self-builders. Basic training would have great potential not only to improve the quality of housing stock but also for CO2 mitigation.
The trade education centers operating in Nicaragua and Ecuador provide dual education for masons and builders, integrating classroom and construction. Youngsters and masons with only empirical knowledge are educated to be knowledgeable tradesmen.


Implemented in

  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Ecuador
  • Nicaragua

Sectors of activity
Buildings and construction, Education, Industrial Sector

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Start date


The objective is to promote better production of building materials with less embodied energy and to teach engineers, architects and masons to build more efficiently and more disaster resistant without raising monetary and ecological costs.

Capacity building on all levels of the housing delivery in the formal and informal popular market lowers vulnerability in natural and man-made disaster situations and is the base for sustainable use of raw materials.


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

No activities have yet been reported under this initiative

Impact and Results

Since 2003 several hundred builders and some 50 professionals have been prepared through the program. Many of the masons have since become successful small entrepreneurs.

Extensive teaching aids and curricula have been developed

Next steps and how to get involved

Ecosur is offering its services to institutions and companies to assist in setting up of construction teaching programs