The Herbert and Yolanda Family


Jacinta opens the door. She’s in her son Herbert’s new house, hanging out with Herbert’s wife, Yolanda. Yolanda’s whipping up some atol, a traditional corn drink, and something else that smells so good the cats casually roam the kitchen area in hopes for a taste.

“Come on in!” says Jacinta merrily. She explains that Herbert is out giving music lessons as she picks up a music theory book to show off.

Jacinta is a proud mother. She talks about Herbert in a bold voice and wears a confident smile that doesn’t fade quickly. She explains how Herbert got his home.

“He got married, and he wanted his own place,” she says. Herbert had turned in his paperwork for a Habitat home and was approved, given his current housing situation. Herbert and Jacinta were living in a room in Jacinta’s home. They occupied one room, Jacinta and her daughter occupied another, and tienda, or store, occupied the last.

A short time later, a group of volunteers were passing blocks to get the first layers of the house built. Jacinta and Yolanda are really thankful for the help that the volunteers provided, and they hope to see the volunteers again. Their doors are always open.

Yolanda says the house is much more comfortable than when they shared a room in her mother-in-law’s home. The new place has a spacious living room, a nice arched window into the kitchen, and a Habitat Guatemala smokeless stove set up in the corner of the kitchen.

Yolanda and Herbert are more than happy with their new bed, as well. They say it’s very comfortable and it was a really thoughtful wedding gift! “It’s so good!” says Yolanda.


Herbert has set up a little area in the living room for an internet, or a computer to be used publicly for $0.60 per hour. It’s not much, but it’s a nice little way for the couple to make an added income when they’re not using the computer.

Currently in construction is a wall in front of the house for a bit of added privacy and blockage of road noise.

The house is really comfortable. Breeze flows from the front door through the house and out the back door. For the young couple, the house signifies a passage from young adulthood into independence.