The Casteñeda Ortiz Family


For a long time, Irma (20) knew that her family would be unable to thrive in a cramped and troublesome space. When asked about how she used to live, she sighs deeply and sounds frustrated. “We were in the same house with my in-laws. It was difficult, because for two years, we didn’t have any privacy or stability. It was one room, nothing more, with all of the beds, stove, tables. Everything. My little boy, Oscarito, couldn’t grow, and he was being picked on. No one wants to live in one room for all of their life.”

With Oscarito already two years old and facing endless trouble with bullying cousins, Irma and her husband, Estiven (22), decided that it was time to find other solutions. Irma suggested that the couple look into her brother’s experience with Habitat. Her face lights up. “His house was so beautiful, and when we saw it, I knew that was what we needed.”


Irma and Estiven applied for a house with Habitat and were approved to build. Since moving into their house a few months ago, Irma has already noted enormous changes, especially with security. “I love this house. There’s privacy, the rooms are bigger. We can cook separately from the beds and don’t have to worry about fire.”

Even more important has been the happiness that she, her husband, and her son have discovered. “My life has changed. I can do more things. This house is easier to take care of. My son is happier because he can be free to play and has the space to do it.”