WHO ARE WE?
Casa Digna SF AC is a community of people who want to help those who could use a hand up in an economy that cannot support their basic needs. While doing so we are cleaning up the local area by taking advantage of a resource readily available to us in abundance, Old Tires!
Yes, we are building Dignified homes out of recycled tires and clay-based dirt. The result is a well-insulated home that will last, we believe, forever. Not a house that will need constant maintenance. We are providing everything needed to build each home and managing every step of the building process.
Who are we? We are people with heart! These mostly women and children, packing tires with red dirt, to build fences and walls for their community, have heart too! A community they so desperately need. They know that one of these homes will be theirs and that this will be their neighborhood.
The Port of San Felipe also suffers from an extremely high unemployment rate. A whole lot of people need jobs and these families need homes!
In building homes with old tires for single mothers and vulnerable families, we are doing three things for this community. We are Recycling, Providing Jobs and Helping Families who desperately need a home. A nice lady on face book made a comment that we are "helping people with a hand up, not a hand out." That statement describes us well.
Melody P. Ashley
Meet the Board of Directors for Casa Digna Inc. - Arkansas
President of Casa Digna Inc.
Melody was born and raised in Little Rock Arkansas, and a graduate of Mount Saint Mary Academy. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree with honors in Geography, with a focus on Waste Management.
Melody also received a master’s degree in Ocean Studies from the University of San Diego on full scholarship. Unable to find employment in her area of study, she moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she developed and managed a landscape business, and remained a resident of Fayetteville for 18 years.
After selling her landscape business in 1998, Melody sought other areas of interest, including metal art; real estate investment; home construction and remodeling, which led her to building the first recycled tire home in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. This effort later led to the creation of Casa Digna SF A.C. in Mexico, and of a 501c3, Casa Digna, Inc, in Arkansas.
Born and raised in Chicago and a graduate of Western Michigan University, Dick moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988 and lived there until he became a Permanent Resident of San Felipe in 2013.
As a business owner for 20+ years, a general manager for a Fortune 500 company, and a sales representative and production manager for a construction and remodeling services company, Dick has a broad range of knowledge and experience that he applies to this project. As president of various U.S. Chambers of Commerce, president of a large Chicago cultural organization, and a key member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Food Retailers Association, Dick understands the responsibilities and total commitment necessary to bring people together for a unified benefit. Currently, Dick serves as a Supervisor for El Dorado Ranch, his HOA community, and is on the Advisory Board for Baja Medical Center.
Annette Rogers Gary. Born and raised in Little Rock, AR. A product of public and private schools in Little Rock.1978 Graduate of Mount Saint Mary's Academy. I received my Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management from Philander Smith College. Retired from Arkansas Children's Hospital after 32 years and currently works as Project Coordinator/Assistant to Dean Skip Rutherford and Associate Dean Susan Hoffpauir at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. I have been married for 14 years and have 10 grandchildren, ages 9 to 2 years old. I have served as President of the Arkansas Catholic Business Women's Club and President of the Christian Mothers Sodality.
I am the second of four children in my family. We lived in Michigan, Chile, and Illinois during my childhood. I came to Arkansas for college and have been here ever since except for three years spent in Washington state. I graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 2001. My post-graduate studies have been with Gateway Seminary. I have been a high school teacher and coach, a youth pastor, and since 2010 a correctional chaplain. I currently work as the Administrator of Chaplaincy Services for the Arkansas Department of Correction. My wonderful wife, Brooke, and I have three sons and a daughter and we currently live in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.