Rutilia Cardona family – Hybrid House Program – Home for a Home

Rutilia (36), her husband Margarito (39) and their four children Erica (12), Elder (7), Kevin (5), and Wendy (4) are the proud owners of a new Hybrid House, in the municipality of Sacchim, San Sebastian, Huehuetenango. Both Margarito and Rutilia  work in the fields collecting coffee.

Our new Hybrid House solution is a two room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks.

Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, Rutilia and her family used to live at Rutilia’s parent’s house built out of adobe blocks and wood. They shared one room with five other relatives. “We were living in only one room. It was in poor conditions.  We did not have enough space and it was uncomfortable,” says Rutilia.

When asked how they feel with their new home,  Rutilia answers, “I feel very happy! We feel content with our children! It is comfortable and we have more space too.” 

María explains that their lives have improved greatly with this new home because they no longer suffer from the cold during rainy season. They do not worry about getting respiratory diseases or any other ailment.

As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine, water filter and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke free environment. Rutilia used to cook over an open flame, causing the smoke to stay inside their house, “The old stove irritated my eyes and hurt my lungs. I have been cooking like that since I was a little girl. Now, I feel happy to cook on the new stove… it is very big and I enjoy making coffee and beans.” says Rutilia.

When asked which is her favorite part of the house, she smiles and answers; “Everything! I enjoy our room, my kitchen, everything!”

Rutilia finishes by sharing a message to the donors, “We are very grateful to God and each one of you. Thank you for giving us this gift, our home! I am sending my greetings and regards to each one of you and your families.”