The Pamal Casteñada Family


Herberth (28) and his wife, Carrie (26) have been together for four years; their daughter, Vannnesa, has been with them for exactly three of those four years. Prior to discovering Habitat for Humanity Guatemala, they struggled with privacy, personal space, and family conflict. “We lived in my mother-in-law’s house,” remarks Carrie. “Financially, it was okay. We support house costs and such, like electricity and water bills. But what we were paying for just wasn’t a house. It certain didn’t feel like one.” She shakes her head, laughing at the memory. “There were seven people living in the same room. Here we are, seven people, sharing the same beds, television, refrigerator, and everything else, all squeeze together in one room! There was another tiny room that was the kitchen and the dining room. It was a space, yes, but it wasn’t a home.”


Needless to say, the couple found relief. Through Herberth’s cousin, who also received a Habitat house, Carrie and Herberth were introduced to Habitat’s programming. They were especially happy about the low interest rate that would allow them to construct a home of their own. Impressed with the cousin’s positive experience, they decided to apply for a model that would meet their needs and that would also allow Vannesa to grow and play. Since applying, they haven’t looked back.


“One of the biggest changes that I’m looking forward to is how family interacts,” comments Carrie. “With less people, there’s less drama in the house. Drama causes so many problems. But now, with less people, there isn’t as much gossip going around.”

Although still finishing up electrical and water work, Herberth, Carrie, and Vannesa are eager for a more tranquil routine—and a new start. “We feel so content here. There are so many things to look forward to.”