The Sebastiana de León

NEWSLETTER-07Sebastiana de Leon-4

Sebastiana de Le’on lives with her son Luis, a teacher, and his three children outside of Santa Cruz, Quiché. Although Sebastiana was on vacation when her home was visited, Luis proudly gave us a tour of their new Habitat home. 

Previously this family lived in a house made of walls of adobe bricks, a ceiling of tiles, and a floor of dirt. Luis explained that this home left them scared during earthquakes that occur on a regular basis, “Before we lived in fear, but now we feel more secure each time we feel the earth shake beneath us.”

After only 20 days of hard work provided by local masons, this family has a new home with three rooms. Two of these rooms are used as bedrooms while the other is a living room where Luis keeps all of his books and other teaching materials.

Luis explains that his family has been affected by the war and may never fully recover, but they are hopeful now that they are in their new home. “Now, we feel content. We can finally move forward.”

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The Guadalupe Ardon Family


NEWSLETTER-07For many years, Guadalupe lived with her large family in a small house in Tecpán, Chimaltenango that was destroyed by Hurricane Stan in 2005. An aid organization gave them a temporary home built on a different site near a river, and the family of fifteen stayed for several years. In 2010, they were in the process of building a more permanent home nearby, when Tropical Storm Agatha struck.

Guadalupe says, “I never thought it was possible for the river to get to the height it did. We left our home running and did not have time to save anything. We spent the night at an institution close by and when we returned, it was like a lake inside our house. Everything was destroyed.” Their temporary home was destroyed and all their personal items lost. The family spent the next four months living at a school. Habitat found the family, and they immediately qualified for two separate new homes under our Disaster Response program.

Guadalupe Ardon CuaGuadalupe’s new Habitat home that she shares with her five children has two bedrooms and there is a separate kitchen outside. She feels confident that the new home will be just fine during storms. When we caught up with Guadalupe in the new house, she had this to say, “We felt so glad to find out that Habitat was going to help us build a house. Thanks to the [donors], we have our own, safe home. I am very happy with our new home. It is so secure and that makes me happy.”

The Eulalia Josefina Lopez Silvestre Family


“It burned the tortillas,” said Eulalia. Her old, basic, open-fire stove was very low to the ground and in such a bad state that she rarely used it. But that changed with the arrival of a smokeless stove from Habitat for Humanity.

Eulalia Josefina Lopez Silvestre lives in the canton of San Sebastian, Jacaltenango with her husband Javier, a local farmer, and three children, Irene (15), Rommel (12) and Ever (10). The family lives in a three room house, with walls made from a mix of cinder block, wood and tin sheets. The three children are all currently studying at school with Irene, the eldest, starting high school in the coming year.

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Eulalia experienced back problems and a sore throat stemming from the use of the old stove. Furthermore due to her leaking roof, water would always fall into the fire, reducing its heat and increasing the smoke released.

Eulalia is a stay at home mother, but with her new stove she thinks she “will start selling tortillas, because the stove is very big.” Furthermore due to its design she said “I want to start making bread, something I couldn’t do previously.”

With obvious pride for her “very beautiful” stove Eulalia thanks Habitat, “I never have the capacity to make a stove like this, it will help my family and I tremendously.”

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The Cruz Guarcas Coc Family


Homeowner Cruz Guarcas Coc is a proud recipient of a British Berkefeld water filter by Habitat. She is very excited about the changes that have been made to her life because of her new water filter.

Before owning her water filter she drank from her pila (sink) which often left her sick, but now because of her filter and other Habitat products she believes, “Everything has changed for the better because of my access to drink clean water every day.”

Roughly 25% of Guatemalans don’t have acess to clean drinking water, which often carry water-borne diseases that can cause acute diarrhea among other problems. Providing water filters like these is one way Habitat Guatemala works to reduce health risks.

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The Susana Lopez Family

NEWSLETTER-07Susana (35) and her husband Otto (40) of San Rafael de las Flores are proud new owners of a sanitary latrine. Efico-100Otto supports his family as a day labourer, working on various surrounding plantations during times of harvest. Susana and Otto live with their four children: Suseli (16), Marlo (15), Jamie (9), and Alexi (2).

Their new latrine was constructed in late 2013 by Otto himself. It provides the family with more privacy, dignity, and hygiene. Susana, Otto, and their family are grateful for these iprovements in their lives.

In July of 2014 a deadly 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the department of San Marcos. Despite its magnitude, their Habitat-designed latrine survived the quake. Because the members of San Rafael were involved in building their latrines, they understand how to care for and maintain their new home improvements.

The Pascuala Perez and Elena Osorio Families


In 2014, the lives of Pascuala Perez Chiyal, her sister-in-law Elena Osorio Calva, and their five children were changed. After living with their in-laws in a home of just four rooms, these families decided they would like to have homes of their own: their very own Habitat homes. Today, these changes are greatly benefitting the upbringing of Pascuala’s children – Juan, Erminia, and Roxana – as well as their cousins – Graldo and María.

PascualaElena-23Although the conditions of the families´ previous home were not unsuitable, Elena and Pascuala both claimed they “wanted their own space” in order to become more independent and raise their families in a comfortable environment. Their old residence consisted of a block structure with two bedrooms for their in-laws and one room apiece for their respective families.

Of the four rooms in each of the new homes the families will use them as two bedrooms, a living room, and a dining room/kitchen. The families have embraced their new living situations by making numerous personal improvements to their homes. Tiles cover the island in between the kitchen and living room, and the family plans to paint their homes.PascualaElena-26

The families are currently waiting to acquire the electricity for their homes, but this does not deter them from being overjoyed about their new living environments. Pascuala explains that she now feels “more comfortable and happy” now that she owns her own property and home.
These young mothers have already created a nurturing environment for their children, but without a doubt, having a home that they can call their own indicates the beginning of a constructive yet successful phase in these young families’ stories.