The Straute Family

Silvia Isabel Straute heard about Habitat for Humanity Guatemala through an unlikely source. “One day, we were listening to the radio, and we heard them doing a promotion,” Silvia says. “Around that time, we were renting in the center of town.”

On her fingers, she remembers all the places where she lived with her family. “Five years here, five years there. Another four years there, for all of my life.”

After the radio announcement ended, Silvia considered her options. At that moment in time, she, her two sons, and her mother lived in cramped, close quarters. “They were tiny rooms,” she describes. She also didn’t like occupying the busy center of downtown Reu, which is characterized by choking pollution, traffic, and too many people.

“We were paying 1,000Q a month ($133) to live in the center of town, which was very expensive for us,” she says. At that moment, Silvia made an executive decision. She called the Habitat Guatemala affiliate, and the process began.

“Now, we’ve been living here for three months. It’s better here,” she says. “It feels good to have our own home. It’s spacious here, and it’s different, calmer. There aren’t any chicken buses passing through, no loud people. My kids can calmly ride their bikes, play soccer. We can really use the space here.”

When asked about the group of volunteers that came to help build her home, Silvia claps her hands together. “We have many beautiful memories of them,” she grins. “We got along well and became friends. One day, we went to the Mayan ruins together.”

Silvia is grateful to them for allowing her to achieve her dream. “We send hugs and greetings, and we will keep them in our memories and hearts.”