Improving the lives of people living with disabilities in Sololá

In Guatemala, children and adults with disabilities are among the most invisible to society in all fields, levels, and processes of social development. The majority of families of people with disabilities are living in poverty and extreme poverty, with no access to a decent home, lacking basic amenities like water, electricity, bathroom, kitchen, etc., and with an education and healthcare systems that are not designed for diversity.

In the communities of Santiago Atitlán, one of the most illiterate municipalities in the department and the one with the greatest poverty, at least 10.4% of the population are estimated to have some type of disability. Through a 3-year joint project between Habitat Canada, Habitat Guatemala, Hope & Healing International, and ADISA in Guatemala, both ADISA and Habitat Guatemala have supported the quality of life of the families in Santiago Atitlán by providing comprehensive care, healthcare, education, employment, and empowerment programs, and access to adequate housing.

In the first year of implementation, we were able to support 15 families living with people with disabilities in accessing adequate housing, healthcare, inclusive education, and employment opportunities. This was achieved through the construction of a new home, the implementation of a curriculum for vocational training and entrepreneurial education and training, providing job search support, mental health workshops, risk management education, and medical follow-up care, and the distribution of health home kits and installation of pilas. For years 2 and 3, we expect to support 15 additional families living with people with disabilities in Santiago Atitlán each year with an adequate housing solution and the establishment of a poultry farm and family garden for the production of eggs and vegetables to improve their diet and socioeconomic status through the sale of the surplus in the community.

Thank you Habitat Canada, Hope & Healing, and ADISA Guatemala for their work in improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families in Santiago Attitlán so that they are included in their communities and enjoy their rights to the fullest.

 

 

#Myhabitatexperience – María Rosa Reyes

Hello! My name is María Rosa, Im 30 years old, born and raised in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and have been working with Habitat Guatemala for over 9 years! I am currently in charge of IRD communications.

Why Habitat Guatemala?

Because Habitat provides families with different tools to improve their quality of life, it is not a paternalistic NGO at the contrary, families that we work with have to always give something back, and for me that is the best way to improve the country, if everyone shares a part of the work. My former boss, don Luis (RIP) “show them how to prepare the tortilla, do not just handle it to them.” Adding to that, the fact that there are still many people helping others to improve, gives me hope in humanity.

What do you like the most about your position?

What I love the most about my job is being able to visit all our partner families in their new homes or with their new housing solutions and being able to witness how their lives have improved. They joy and proud reflected in their faces, that for me, is what gives meaning to my job. Being able to witness the mixture of cultures when our GV volunteers come to build with Guatemalan families and share with them our culture is one of my favorite things to do!

A message to the Habitat community

Thank you all for your continuos support to Habitat Guatemala. During these years I have met so many wonderful people! I hope to continue working with all of you in order to build a better Guatemala!

María Cardona Family – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

María (30), and her four children, Aura (13), Haroldo (12), Santos (10) and baby Omar (1), are the owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of Chelam, San Sebastián, Huehuetenango. María is a single mother, who weaves traditional clothes to later sell them at the market during market daysthat she sells at the market.

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks.

Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, María’s family used to live at her parents’ house, in one small room built out of adobe blocks, wood and dirt flooring. That house is was also shared with more than seven relatives. When asked how she feels about her new home, María answers, “I feel happy to have our own house. We are able to do what we want, we have more space too; we feel safe and content with it.”

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke free environment. María used to cook over an open fire on the floor. The new smokeless stove will help them improved their the families health, since the smoke is no longer inside their house. Previously, the family did not own a latrine and would to go to the woods. Now, that they have a safe and hygienic place for their basic needs.

María finishes by sharing a message with the our donors, “Thank you for providing us with our home! I feel content with it! May God bless you.”

 

 

 

 

 

Juana Ordóñez Family – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

Juana Andrés (38), and his six children, Juana (19), Hilda (13), Juliana (10), Marta (7), Angélica (5), Oscar (3) and baby Elsy are the owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of Chelam, San Sebastián, Huehuetenango. Juana is a single mother, who works in the lands nearby harvesting coffee and potato.

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsi-dized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks.

Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, the family used to live in a small room that was used to sleep and to cook on an open fire. The small room was built with adobe walls, ground floor and acai in the roof.

When asked how they feel about their new home, Juana answers, “I feel content with our new house, it is an opportunity to improve and have a safe space for my children, to no longer suffer from cold.”

Juana explains that their lives have improved greatly with this new home because they no longer have to sleep in one room, with the rain water leaking and suffering cold.

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke-free environment.

Juana finishes by sharing a message with the donors, “Thank you for your support, by providing us with this house. We feel happy.”

 

 

 

 

Gregorio Cardona Family – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

Rogelio (40), and his seven children Lucinda (18), Danilo (16), Daniel (14), Mateo (12), Byron (7), Carolina (5) and baby Paola (2), are the owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of Chelam, San Sabastian, Huehuetenango. Rogelio’s wife died a few months ago, and now, Rogelio is taking care of his six children, while working at the fields or different day jobs that he finds in the communities nearby.

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsi-dized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks. Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, Rogelio and his family used to live in a small house built out of adobe blocks and wood with ground floor, which now serves as the kitchen,” says Rogelio.

When asked how they feel about their new home, Rogelio answers, “I feel very grateful for our home, it will remain in time for my children and next generations as a reminder in honor of their mother. For me, this house is like a mother for them and for me. A mother that takes care of us, I know that we are safe, as soon as we go inside it protect us from the rain, from the wind.”

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke-free environment. Rogelio’s wife used to cook on an open flame on the floor, causing the smoke to stay inside their house. “Our new stove is perfect! I feel proud of my products, now the smoke goes directly outside,” says Rogelio.

When asked which is his favorite part of the house, he smiles and answers; “We love everything about our house, we enjoy to spend time together and listen to music”. Rogelio finishes by sharing a message with the donors, “May all of you receive our greetings. I am grateful to God and to you for providing us with our house. May God bless you! I encourage you to continue supporting families like ours.”

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Season – Safe drinking water for Quinales

During giving season charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. This Giving Season join us and be a part of a global celebration!

It’s a simple idea: find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give thanks by giving to a charity in need of their support.

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala has the goal of raising $2,000 for our 18 families in the community of  Quinales, Izabal. We will purchase a water filter and replacement cartridge for each family, guaranteeing access to clean drinking water for up to 4 years for 108 people.

About the community

The community of Quinales is in the department of Izabal and is comprised of 18 families. It is one of the regions most severely affected by tropical storms Eta and Iota, where people lost their homes, livestock, livelihoods, and other community infrastructure.

Both urgent and long-term needs arouse as the community was left inaccessible and received little to no outside support. Climate change events negatively impact families living in poverty and extreme poverty, as they lack the resources and capacity to adapt to environmental changes and natural disaster impacts.

For most of the year, little rain falls in Quinales, limiting access to water in quantity and constancy.

Additionally, the contamination of the Motagua River prevents people from using the water for human consumption. The important lack of quantity and quality of water limits the developtment and welfare in terms of access to safe water or daily consumption, quality of life, and health for the families in Quinales, who almost a year later, are still recovering from the effects of tropical storms Eta and Iota.

 

Join us to be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity and lets provide safe drinking water for the community of Quinales!

 

 

 

 

Santa Florencia Zet – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

Santa (38), her husband, Alfredo (37) and their seven children, Julissa (15), Abner (13), Vicky (10), Ilse (8), Elma (4) Abdias (2.5) and baby Juan (6 months), are the owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of  Aldea Panyebar, San Juan la Laguna, Sololá. Alfredo works in the fields, while Santa stays home taking care of the children.  

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks. 

Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, Santa’s family used to live in a small house built out of corrugated metal sheets and wood with ground floor. “Since we got married, we have been living like that for over 15 years, my children grow up like that. I was always hoping for a proper house for my children. Now, it is a reality.” – mentions Santa. 

When asked how she feels about their new home, Santa answers, “We are very content! Now, all of my children are safe, they feel happy to. We are grateful to God for this gift. Now, we no longer feel cold during the night, we feel warmer.” 

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke-free environment. Santa used to cook on an open flame on the floor, causing the smoke to stay inside their house. “Our products have helped us improved in many ways, no more smoke inside our kitchen, the water tastes good and the latrine is in better conditions.” says Santa. 

Santa finishes by sharing a message with the donors, “Thanks to God, for giving us this opportunity to send our greetings to all of you. Thank you all for your support, every day I asked God to keep on blessing you and your family.” 

 

 

Vilma Chávez – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

Vilma, her husband, José Luis and their three children, Alfredo, Yordy and baby Stephany are the owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of  Chuatzam, Santa Lucía Utatlán, Sololá. José Luis works in the fields, while Vilma stays home taking care of the children.

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks. 

Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, Vilma’s family used to live in a small house built out of corrugated metal sheets and wood with ground floor. “That room belonged to my sister, we did not have a house. It was a dream of ours to build or have our proper home., My children got sick during rainy season, because the water leaked in and it was very cold.” – mentions Vilma. 

When asked how she feels about their new home, Vilma answers, “Happy, we are happy and grateful. Now, we are living better, no more water or cold inside our house. My children are safe and have an adequate place to stay play.” 

In the future, the family will would like to paint the house with bright colors!  

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a water filter, latrine and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke-free environment. Santa used to cook on an open flame on the floor, causing the smoke to stay inside their house. “The water filter has been of great help; we no longer have to buy or boil water! The stove saves wood and heats up fast. And the latrine is very comfortable, ” says Vilma. 

Vilma finishes by sharing a message with the donors, “Receive our greetings and gratitude. Thank you for your support and providing us with this house. May God provide and give it back to you! Now, my children have a safe space to grow up.”