The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is a large field of view, continuously operated, TeV γ -ray experiment under construction at 4,100 m a.s.l. in Mexico. The HAWC observatory will have an order of magnitude better sensitivity, angular resolution, and background rejection than its predecessor, the Milagro experiment. The improved performance will allow us to detect both the transient and steady emissions, to study the Galactic diffuse emission at TeV energies, and to measure or constrain the TeV spectra of GeV γ -ray sources. In addition, HAWC will be the only ground-based instrument capable of detecting prompt emission from γ -ray bursts above 50 GeV. The HAWC observatory will consist of an array of 300 water Cherenkov detectors (WCDs), each with four photomultiplier tubes. This array is currently under construction on the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano near the city of Puebla, Mexico. The first 30 WCDs (forming an array approximately the size of Milagro) were deployed in Summer 2012, and 100 WCDs will be taking data by May, 2013. We present in this paper the motivation for constructing the HAWC observatory, the status of the deployment, and the first results from the constantly growing array.