Hábitat para la Humanidad Guatemala

new home

New homes are one of the main components of our programs. Their main objetive is to reduce the housing deficit in Guatemala, by providing families with an adequate home. We are achieving this through a social housing model, built of steel-reinforced concrete block and cement, designed to be resistant to seismic shocks and tremors. Corrugated metal sheet roofing keeps the family dry during Guatemala’s brutal rainy season.

There are fourteen house designs to choose from and personalize, allowing families to live in a safe and comfortable environment.


In Guatemala, the housing deficit is divided between a quantitative (lack of houses) and a qualitative deficit (poor quality of exisiting structures), the latter affecting a majority of Guatemalans. Typically this sector of the population owns a house, but not in adequate conditions: walls and ceilings are composed of plastic, carton, and other materials that allow water, dirt and animals to encroach. These particular conditions prevent families from safe development and a productive lifestyle.

We intervene to rehabilitate houses by providing the construction of new walls, concrete floor and ceiling installations, and/or construction of additional rooms. The main objective is to transform homes, but more importantly, transform lives.

More Than Houses

Designed to improve the lives of Guatemala’s most vulnerable families, Healthy Home Kits consist of a smokeless stove, a water filter, and a latrine.

Smokeless Stove

Guatemalan families that cook over open fires are constantly breathing in smoke and consuming vast amounts of firewood. The families most affected by such circumstances are Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations. The presence of indoor smoke mostly affects women and small children, who spend more time in the home, as they suffer from chronic respiratory problems and burns. Starting in 2011, Habitat Guatemala established the Healthy Home Kit program. The stoves are built from adobe blocks, concrete blocks or bricks, with a chimney pipe to carry out the harmful smoke. The multiple-burner metal stovetop allows women to dedicate more time to other tasks and focus their efforts on additional income generation.

These improved stoves have other advantages too, including the reduction up to 98% of smoke inside the households, an easy-to-learn assembly process and faster cooking times that can reduce firewood use by up to 50%. The presence of the smokeless stove generates a positive impact in families’ economy and health.

Water Filter

Over four million Guatemalans living in rural areas do not have access to potable water. And while five of the top twenty causes of death can be related to water contamination, only 3% of the population regularly uses water filters. It’s for this reason that Habitat Guatemala started the Clean Water Project, giving families in extreme poverty access to clean drinking water, and consequently, healthier lives.

This filter prevents gastrointestinal diseases, is affordable, and is also easy to use.  It is composed of a carbon candle, which has international certification by  British Berkefeld.

Sanitary Latrine

Only 54% of Guatemalans have access to proper sanitation services. The remainder of the population uses poorly constructed latrines or nothing at all. Sanitation is a clear issue considering that an estimated 85% of waste water is left untreated and is often discarded into local water sources. As part of our Clean Water Project, Habitat Guatemala’s sanitary latrines reduce contamination, while our educational trainings educate families on maintaining healthy homes and proper hygienic practices.

The use of these latrines lowers the risk of disease, avoids polluting water sources, and protects nearby farm lands; ultimately improving family and community health.


A sump is a greywater treatment system that works independently and does not need connection to a waster water treatment network. The sump works by stimulation of wastewater absorption, through a filtering process through gravity. This solution contributes to families’s health by eliminating stagnant water produced by pilas, sinks, and showers, and contributes to the environment.

Rain Water Harvesting System

A rainwater harvesting stystem provides communities with access to water in areas where there are no water distribution systems, nor springs or rivers.  The structure is simple, allowing for the utilization of rain water through basic capture, providing access to water. Partnering this solution with a Habitat for Humanity Guatemala water filter gives beneficiaries access to clean, potable water.