When you first meet Maria, one thing is obvious – she’s a proud mom and grandmother. She lives in just outside Quetzaltenango in La Esperanza, where the land space is enough for farming and to raise chickens. Her recently constructed Habitat home brings her a joy and a peace of mind she could not have known just a few short months earlier. Just this year, Maria’s eldest son lost his wife. Having a home through Habitat meant Maria could leave her work as a daily market vendor and go to the countryside to take care of her 2 grandchildren while her son mourned his recent loss and continued working to provide for his family. Just a few short months earlier, the high cost of her rent would not have allowed her this option or easily would have caused a financial hardship.
Two months later, Maria is back to her sense of normalcy. You can see the affection from her daughter, who is happy to have her back home. In her new Habitat home, Maria is relaxed and says she can sleep much more peacefully. There is less traffic, less noise and she no longer has a high rent. She continues to work hard and enjoys a better quality of life where her family can be her foremost priority.
Maria credits the volunteers who came to help with building her home – “it was a very beautiful experience because (the volunteers) worked a lot. I was sad when they left, because we shared a lot. They worked here and helped, especially with the columns.” “I shared a bit of refreshments and food but they did not accept it because they wanted to be considerate—but the last day with my children we shared in a meal together.” Maria says sharing this meal was her favorite part of the experience. They blessed me so much that I wanted to bless them.
“Thank you so much for your help” Maria says, “for the support that you gave us when you came, because of your help the house was built quickly.” We are so grateful.