Nancy and Katia roll up to the house in a tuk tuk. Nancy has just gotten off work at the National Registry of People, and she’s picked up 11-year-old Katia from school. They’re excited, because they’re about to make a huge change in their daily lives.
Half a year ago, Nancy partnered with Habitat Guatemala to build her own house. “We are living with my mother,” says Nancy. “We’re excited to have our own space and make ourselves independent.”
In March, a group from Stanstead College flew from Canada to Guatemala to lend a hand in building Katia’s new house. Nancy said the experience was unforgettable. “We appreciate the support and the collaboration,” she says. She and Katia went on to name the names of all the volunteers that worked with them, reminiscing with a smile.
Partner families are free to choose a mason to build their house. Nancy knew just who to hire. Her uncle, a 70-year-old man who could not find employment because of his age and illiteracy, was made in charge of the home’s construction. Had she hired a construction company to build the house, her uncle wouldn’t have had the job opportunity.
The new house is up on the side of a hill, where the the temperature is much fresher than in other areas. Nancy is fortunate and grateful for the change. “We are satisfied with the new house,” she says.
She says the hardest part of living in her current place is having “reduced space,” sharing the space with her mother. “Privacy isn’t the same.”
For Nancy and Katia, the new house is a place where they will be able to thrive on their independence, without worrying about what anybody else wants them to do. Currently, they are about to move into the new place, and they have just put in a tile floor. Nancy sends all her best wishes to the volunteers who supported the construction.