“Living here is calmer. I love everything about having a house.” This is the first insight provided by Ana Maria Saquic Toc (28). For as long as she could remember, she woke up in her mother’s overcrowded house to the sounds of seven other people traipsing between rooms. She dreamed of a better living situation, especially to cope with a painful time in her life.
“At that point, I already had a family, my little girl,” Ana Maria says, in reference to her seven-year-old daughter, Kristi. “I wanted to be alone, to feel the freedom of being alone. Because I’m no longer in communication with my husband, I needed something to call my own, a new start.”
To find a solution, Ana Maria went back to the source. Her mother’s house was a Habitat Guatemala house, built a few decades back, and she decided to seek advice from the organization. However, Ana Maria was concerned about her financial situation. As a single mom working in the municipality of Santa Lucia Utatlán, she felt that her salary would be insufficient to cover the costs of paying back a loan on a house.
But after making a trip to the affiliate office in Panajachel, her fears melted away. “Habitat Guatemala put financing in my favor. When I felt that there was no other possibility, here there was a solution.”
Soon after being approved for her home, construction began. Then, a group of volunteers arrived to support Ana Maria. “I am so grateful to the work that the group did,” she says. “They helped advance the house so much, and the mason and assistants were able to finish in a faster time because of them.” She smiles. “Thank you for the opportunity that you have given us.”
Ana Maria and her daughter moved into their new home at the end of October 2016 and have lived there peacefully for six months. She notes that there have been enormous benefits. “Our lives have changed. My work schedule is more flexible, I can sleep more, Kristi is happier and better. She can play wherever she wants.”
Mother and daughter continue to engage in personal growth and relish the comfort of having their own space. They painted their house a vibrant blue, “a calming color” as Ana Maria puts it. Thinking ahead, Ana Maria is contemplating additional renovations she would like to make. “I want to put down a ceramic tile floor, maybe put on an addition,” she laughs. “But that’s for another time.”