“It is beautiful to have a house, and it’s exciting to have something of our own.” Upon saying those words, Douglas pauses, as if having a second thought. He rises up from the stool in his kitchen and enters his bedroom. We can hear him digging around in his closet. When he finally emerges, he is carrying several small objects in his hands. Upon closer examination, we see three pairs of shoes.
“These belong to my daughter,” he beams. “I love buying her shoes.”
Douglas stands out from his Colony neighbors. He is originally from Guatemala City, but relocated when he met his wife, Clara, to Usumatlan. They lived with Clara’s parents for four years before finding an alternative house option that worked for them.
Joining the Amway neighborhood was more seamless than Douglas anticipated. “My wife told me about the Colony and made me a proposition. I would go and see if it would work for us. If I didn’t like it, we didn’t have to move there. If I did, we would apply.” He laughs. “Well, here is the result.”
Living amongst other Habitat for Humanity participants has changed Douglas’s life for the better. “I like how everyone looks out for one another. Everyone is warm and patient. That’s so different from what I grew up with.”
The best part of his newly changed life? Finally spending time with his daughter. “Before, I was working six days a week and missing out on a lot of things. But I found a new job down the street as an assistant manager, and work there is more flexible. Now, I have more time with my daughter. I only work three to four days a week, and the rest of the time I can spend with her.”