Reconstruction in El Salvador: the social relations of community self-build

When the civil war in El Salvador ended in 1992, the Spanish government put forward money for a resettlement project (the ASPA project) which was designed and implemented by a Northern NGO for which the author worked as a construction adviser. The project, constructing a settlement for and with refugees returning from Honduras, faced difficulties due to a lack of local participation and the adoption of a discordant `professional' mindset in the planning and early stages of building work. The author discusses how the reconstruction process was altered to enable more effective participation and community ownership of the settlement.