For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Yoselin Marleny Flores Pineda has been connected with Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. She and her sister grew up in her mother, Rita’s house, which was built by a volunteer Habitat group twelve years ago. When it came time for Yoselin and her two-year-old daughter, Gisela, to move, she knew just who to contact. “My mom’s house was getting a little bit too small for all of us,” she says. “Because I have a daughter now, I wanted her to grow up with more space. It feels wonderful to be able to provide a house for her.”
The change has been rapid, but positive. For the past few months, Yoselin has worked tirelessly to make the new house, which is down the street from where she grew up, feel like home. Rita has helped take care of Gisela in the meantime. “We finished construction in March and moved in this past May after we were done painting.” Yoselin and Rita look at one another and laugh at the memory. They gesture to the walls, which are covered in vibrant floral patterns. “My sister is an artist, and she was really excited to put her art on the walls. I love all sorts of color, so I let her go ahead and be creative with it.”
Yoselin shows us each room, which has been painted a bright shade of green, pink, purple, or blue. Her house also breathes a love of flowers; several different kinds have been planted in front of the house. Many more pots are scattered throughout the kitchen and living room. When Gisela naps, she sleeps under a floral curtain.
“It’s calming here,” Yoselin says. “I can be on my own, but I can still see my mother, and she can still see her granddaughter. We can both be independent, but also together.”