María Morales initially decided to build a house in her community in Sololá, because her parents are getting older and she wanted them to have a comfortable place to live. María, who studied to be a secretary, works during the week in Guatemala City, but returns home often to spend time with her family and friends. But her community in Sololá is her home and she is committed to the community.
María isn’t the first person in her community to build a home by partnering with Habitat for Humanity Guatemala; several of her neighbors have done so as well and that is how she first learned it would be possible for her to own her own home.
Her mother, Antonia, loves her new home. Antonia speaks Kaqchikel, so her daughter-in-law translated her sentiments to Spanish. “Before, my husband Geronimo and I were living in a wooden house and it was very drafty,” Antonia shared. “Now I am warm at night and I can shut the door while I cook. I feel much more comfortable and happy.”
Because María spends the majority of her time in Guatemala City, her sister-in-law stepped up to help her through the process of building her home by taking care of paperwork and communicating with the Sololá Habitat Guatemala office. In this small village, the people take care of one another.
Though Antonia shares that she felt shy around the volunteers because of the language barrier, she appreciates that they came to Guatemala and helped build her new home. “I would like to see them again one day,” she said. “I hope they continue to support the people of Guatemala. They seemed so happy here and enjoyed playing with the kids. It was my first time meeting volunteers and it was so lovely.”