“I decided to fight so that I could be independent.”
Some fights require a struggle against another person, other against a government. Agusto’s was against the cycle of poverty.
Agusto and his wife, Valerina, had lived in a little hillside on the outskirts of Momostenango for a long time. The house wasn’t theirs – it belonged to Josefina, Agusto’s mother. The house was made of adobe, an building material made from earth, water, and calcium. It was in a aging condition, as the walls of adobe homes don’t last long if they aren’t covered with cement.
Valerina, Agusto, and Agusto’s mother weren’t the only ones in the home. There were four more family members that shared a total of 2-3 rooms, depending on how you define a “room.” Quarters were cramped, adobe walls that soak up moisture rendered damp air, and the young couple was ready to be independent.
So they turned in their paperwork for a new Habitat Guatemala home. They were approved, and within a few months they were in their new home.
One of the biggest obstacles for a Agusto and his family is the struggle against the cycle of poverty. Agusto had little money saved up for a home, and paying off a big credit is no easy task. The game changer is that Agusto has already managed to drastically improve his living conditions as he invests his money into something that he will be able to claim as his own. Habitat Guatemala provided the opportunity, and Agusto took advantage.
Agusto makes backpacks with a sewing machine that he’s keeping in one of his new rooms. He stitches them together and sells them at the market. The room is full of packs that are ready to be assembled. Recently, he hasn’t had much luck selling the packs, but he’s brainstorming other ways to promote his business. “We’ll see what we can do,” he says.
The home has already made a big impact on the young couple, much more than simply putting a roof over their heads. Josefina, Agusto’s mother, is “happy, because he has his own place now. It’s given him energy to pay it off.”
Remembering the volunteers who helped build his house, Agusto is “thankful. Here, I’m happy. Hopefully someday they will all come back, because they are welcome in my home. Look at these photos!” He showed off all the photos he had from when the volunteers were there.
Agusto’s life has changed, and slowly he is working his way out of poverty by means of an investment through Habitat Guatemala. And for Agusto, that’s invaluable.