Florencia Socom – Hybrid House Program

Florencia and her 5 children, Rosaura (16), Milsia (13), Ismael (11), Aroldo (8), and Josué (17), are the proud owners of a new Hybrid House, in the municipality of Las Canoas Altas, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá. Milsia is a single mother who works as a cleaning lady in different houses. The youngest children are going to school and the oldest work in different field activities.

Florencia and her family are part of our new Hybrid House Program, which is a two room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood.

Quick facts about the new Hybrid Home:

1. At just $3,300 USD, it costs less than half the price of a standard HFHG home.

2. The home is partially subsidized, acknowledging that the population we are serving does not have access to an income that would allow them to pay a mortgage. The family contributes sweat equity, creating the adobe blocks as well as participating in the construction of their new home.

3. The structure can be built in a time frame of approximately a two weeks.

4. This is a new effort to support the sector of the population that is living in the poorest conditions.

5. To date, the pilot program has consisted of a total of four houses.

As previously explained, this solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials, provide unskilled labor such as preparing the adobe blocks, among other tasks.

Before partnering with Habitat Guatemala, Florencia mentioned that her and her family used to live in a house built out of metal roof sheets, sharing just one room for all of them. Another room was used for the kitchen. “The old house was different, because it was built with metal sheets, we felt very cold during winter and very hot during summer, it had a lot of holes where the wind got in,” shares Florencia.

One day she received a visit from Habitat staff, Florencia showed them her house and the way they were living. The staff explained to Florencia about the program and that she was selected as one of the beneficiaries. “I was surprised because it all happened really fast. In a couple of months, we were already building our new home with my children! The adobe blocks were hard to make at the beginning but then we got used to it. All my children were a part of the construction process, and it was fun.” – Florencia.

When asked how they feel with their new home, Florencia smiles and answers, “We feel happy, happy to have our home now! I am very grateful to everyone who supported us. I do not know what else to say to except to express my gratitude and happiness. We are now able to live at peace with my children, without worrying about feeling cold anymore.” In the future, this family is planning to add flowers and trees around the house, to make it look even prettier!

Florencia finishes by sharing a message to the donors and volunteers, “May you all receive our gratitude, Thanks to God and to all of you who supported us. As a single mother it has been a hard road, I felt alone. And you coming to support me, makes me feel I am not alone anymore. Thank you!