Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala

by The GOD'S CHILD Project
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Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala
Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala

This is the story of Mrs. Adriana who is 70 years old, as she thinks since she has been wandering in the streets for a long time and does not have any documents or memory of her real age.  She is a lonely person, doesn’t have a husband, any sons or daughters or a family that cares for her.  While she was wandering she never had the chance of clean up or even worst she didn’t take care of herself.  She had psychiatric problems, sometimes she insulted the people who talked to her.

Every night she came to our Santa Madre Homeless Shelter, where she was warmly welcomed with food, clothes and a dignify place to stay over the night. While she was staying there she never acted violent or insulted the other women or staff but she was all the time away from people.

In one opportunity, she mentioned that she did have children but they abandoned her and that she had a bad life while she was living with her husband.  She said that they left her taking away everything she had.  She never mentioned how it happened but she did mention that her life was hard since little and decided to not fight for her life.  As time was passing by, her mental problems were increasing, sometimes she cursed people or she attacked herself.

When Asociación Nuestros Ahijados realized of her mental problems immediately gave her the psychological aid giving her the treatment to prevent the self harm she was doing and to help with to prevent anger toward others.  In coordination with the Mental Health Hospital in Guatemala the project referred her to them, where she was immediately admitted.  The project’s psychologist is always visiting her and giving the follow up to support her and to provide the medication for her treatment.

In the past years, the Santa Madre Homeless Shelter has received thousands of people from all over the country and Central America, and we are always caring for each of them, more in cases like this with Mrs. Adriana.  While she was staying with us, as all the other people, she received a special and dignified treatment to make them feel special and valued.  

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A new home for Rubi and her family!
A new home for Rubi and her family!

Rubi is a very hardworking woman who has suffered a lot over the past couple of years. Her husband passed away a few years ago so Rubi and her oldest son began to work to support their family which consisted of 3 other children and one granddaughter, Hilary. Rubi began to grow plants to sell but made very little income. She worked hard to provide for her children and make sure they were attending school and tried to keep them safe and healthy. Unfortunately one of her daughters got very sick and passed away leaving Hilary in the care of her grandmother.

Despite the difficulties that Rubi has faced she has always worked hard to provide for her children's education. Because Rubi and her son earn so little the family was able to pay for school and their very basic needs however there was no money left over to make any improvements to their home which was made of cornstalks and old sheets of metal with a dirt floor. Often during rainy season water would enter their small house. Rubi desperately wanted to improve the families living conditions but was unable to do so on their very low income so she came to the GOD'S CHILD Project to see if we could help them with the construction of a new home. Our social workers visited the home and decided that the family would be a good candidate and later with the help of your donations and volunteers we were able to build the family a new home. 

I had the privilege of translating the small ceremony to hand the house over to the family and it was a very touching ceremony. Rubi was very grateful for her new home and thanked each of the volunteers who helped make it possible with a few words and a hug. When she got to me she gave me a very long hug and broke down in tears. I knew that this was a very emotional day for her. They were tears of happiness that she could finally give her family a healthy home and of sadness that two very special family members would not get to live in the home. Her hug was a great reminder of the important work that we do and her hug was not just for me but was also meant for all those who help make this work possible. Her hug was for you.

 Thanks to your support we are able to continue to provide safe and healthy homes for families in need like Rubi's. We hope that you will continue to support new beginnings like these by participating in a ServiceTeam of your own, sharing this story with your friends and family or by donating to the project.

With gratitude,

Kendell Martell
ServiceTeams Coordinator
The old house and new home
The old house and new home
Hilary says "gracias!" for her new home
Hilary says "gracias!" for her new home

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Eslyn's family and volunteers with the new home
Eslyn's family and volunteers with the new home

As a ServiceTeam Coordinator I often get to go out to the build sites to see how our volunteers are doing and have the privilege of helping hand over the new homes to very grateful families. I have seen many different types of "before" houses over the years but one in particular stood out to me.

As I walked up to the build site I could see that there were several tall cement homes in the area and tucked in between two of these homes was a small shack made of old tin and wood. The house was in very poor condition with mold on the walls from the dampness of the rainy season and was about the size of one of the rooms in the neighboring houses. This is where little Eslyn (age 6) and Luis (age 4) lived. How could this be? Why is it that children growing up in such close proximity live such different lives? Unfortunately this is all too common in Guatemala. The rich often live right next to the poor and pay little or no attention to the suffering around them.

A new home is something many Guatemalan's can only dream of. Because of the civil war and other economic factors many parents like Eslyn's were unable to go to school as a child. Without an education they are left to take very low-paying and temporary jobs making it very hard for them to provide for the basic needs of their families, let alone build a new home.

Thanks to your support and the hard work of our volunteers the GOD'S CHILD Project was able to help provide Eslyn and her family a dignified home to live in. Because of you, Eslyn and her little brother will no longer suffer from the flu or bronchitis because of the dampness in their house. This is the positive chain of events that occurs each time we are able to build a new home for a family: a new home provides healthier living conditions which allows parents to work more and children to go to school more and means less medical expenses which means more income which can be used to provide better nutrition, housing, and education. And that is why we do what we do. With your help we provide more than just new homes, we provide new beginnings.

We hope that you will continue to support these new beginnings by participating in a ServiceTeam of your own, sharing this story with your friends and family or by donating to the project.

Thank you for all that you do for the GOD'S CHILD Project!

With gratitude,

Kendell Martell
ServiceTeams Coordinator

 

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Gloria & her family & volunteers with the new home
Gloria & her family & volunteers with the new home

When the GOD'S CHILD Project visited Gloria she was living with her husband and four sons in a house made of plywood that was in very poor conditions. The house was given to the family by the government in 1976 when their previous house had been destroyed by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Guatemala. After four decades the house was now deteriorating and the roof was full of holes so every time it rained the few belongings that they had would get wet (keep in mind that it rains about 6 months out of the year).  

Gloria's husband Antonio is the main economic support of the family. He works as a farmhand but this work is sporadic based on the sowing and harvesting of different crops so once one crop is done he looks for work on another plantation or elsewhere in order to continue to support his family. Gloria works a few days a week cleaning house for other families but earns very little. Neither Antonio nor Gloria has the education necessary to find a better paying and more stable job. 

Because of this the family struggled just to get by and had been unable to make any improvements to their living conditions and the GOD'S CHILD Project decided to help them with the construction of a new home. During the home dedication ceremony the family thanked both the volunteers and the GOD'S CHILD Project for making their dream of a safer and healthier place to live come true.

Thanks to supporters like you we are able to make dreams come true and provide safer and healthier homes to Guatemalan families in need like Antonio's. We hope that you will continue to support our work by participating in a ServiceTeam of your own, sharing this story with your friends and family, or by donating to the project.  

Thank you for all that you do for the GOD'S CHILD Project!

With gratitude,

Rina Lazo

Director of Benefactor Services

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Jose's house before
Jose's house before

The families that the GOD'S CHILD Project builds homes for are hard-working families that are trying their best to make improvements to their living situation but for most of them, because of their lack of education, they are unable to get steady, well-paid jobs that would allow them to better provide for their families. 

Jose is the father of one such family. Jose, his wife and their five children lived in a house made of cornstalk walls and a tin roof with a dirt floor.  During the rainy season water would enter the house making everything damp and uncomfortable. Jose and his oldest son were the only ones working to support the family of seven and both earned very little money which meant that Jose was faced with the tough decision of either making improvements to the family's home or sending his children to school. Jose says "I chose to send the kids to school because I want them to have a better future. I want them to have the opportunities that I never had." 

Upon visiting the family the GOD'S CHILD Project could see that Jose was doing everything that he could to help his family so we decided that they would be good candidates for a home build. At the ceremony to hand the house over to the family the family showed their gratitude with words of thanks, hugs and some tears for the help of the GOD'S CHILD Project and our volunteers who helped make their dream of a new home a reality.

Thanks to donors like you we are able to provide safe, healthy homes to families like Jose's in Guatemala. Please consider making another donation so that we can continue to help these families achieve their dreams. Of if you are interested in becoming part of a build team and seeing the work we do first-hand please contact ServiceTeams@ANAGuatemala.org. 

With Gratitude,

Rina Lazo

Director of Donations

Some of Jose's family in front of their new home
Some of Jose's family in front of their new home

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Organization Information

The GOD'S CHILD Project

Location: Bismarck, ND - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
RINA LAZO
Director of Benefactor Services
Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$10,465 raised of $23,000 goal
 
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