Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala

 
$1,670 $73,330
Raised Remaining

Dora, the mother of the family, has had to work extra hard due to her husband’s alcohol problem. When they got married he did not have a drinking problem. He was responsible and took care of the needs of the home. He didn’t start to have problems until his children were born. He works as a carpenter and earns a salary of Q1,600 per month most of which he spends on alcohol. He only gives Dora Q600 per month to provide food, clothes and an education for their children.

Dora is happy with her family because even though her husband drinks he has never hit her or her children and he has been somewhat responsible with the expenses of the home. Dora does not work outside of the home but dedicates herself to taking care of the children.

The house that they lived in was made out of old sheets of metal and a dirt floor. They even used sheets of plastic to cover parts where water was coming in. They also had to share the house with Dora’s mom. Because of this the family decided to ask Nuestros Ahijados to help build them a new home. The Project did a home visit and after verifying that the family truly did have a need the Project built a house for the family. Dora is very thankful that her children now have a safe place to live.

Mario works as a day laborer picking coffee, fruits and vegetables, whatever is in season at the time. This is very sporadic work and he often finds himself without work for days at a time making it difficult for him to support his family. He and his wife Tomasa share the responsibility of providing for the family. Tomasa sells weavings that she has made to help support her family. She spends many hours weaving each product but earns very little for each one, about Q200 per item. She does not have repeat customers so she often has to go out looking for people to buy her products.

Of the three children in the family, Julia, Mayra and Luis, only Julia goes to school because the other two are still very young. The family lives in a house made out of sheets of metal and corn stalks. There are even parts that are made out of a tent-like material. Because the structure that the family is living in lacks protection from the rain and cold the children often get sick and Mario and Tomasa have little money to pay for their medical expenses.

Mario and Tomasa do not have money to pay for materials to improve their home. As a result the family often gets sick when the weather is bad due to the cold and dampness. Because of this the God’s Child Project helped them by building them a new home so that the family, especially the children, would have a safe and healthy place to live and be protected from the elements so that they would not get sick as often.

The man is originally from the community of Pochuta, Chimaltenango. He comes from a very poor family who, unfortunately, abandoned him because they didn´t have the means to take care of him. He had 12 siblings and hasn´t heard anything from any of them since.

The problems that occurred in his life started during the civil war in the 70´s. Because he wandered the streets looking for food or just to pass the time he was forced into the army. He was 12 years old at the time. While in the army the young boy took part in many confrontations with the guerillas. After 10 years of service, in a confrontation a grenade exploded close to his fellow combatants killing them and injuring his left leg. Unfortunately the injury was quite severe and they had to amputate his leg.

Since he had been abandoned he had no one to help him during his recovery and continued to live on the streets. He worked sporadically but it was very difficult for him because of the amputation so he mostly worked selling fruits and vegetables or as a sales clerk. He turned to alcohol to escape his problems thinking that he no longer had a reason to live.

For many years he drank too much and could no longer hold a job so he roamed the streets and didn´t have anywhere to stay. A few years ago he learned about the homeless shelter Santa Madre, which is part of the God´s Child Project, from other homeless people. He began to stay at the shelter often and thanks to the talks that they give there he decided to admit himself to a rehabilitation program for alcoholics. Because of this help he has been able to work in the market in Antigua to earn money and make a better future for himself.

This family has very limited resources. Their house is made of sheets of metal that are in very poor condition and has a dirt floor. One of the beds is also in poor condition. The family is very large and includes the parents, six children and one grandson. The father is the breadwinner for the family and often there isn´t enough money and they only get to eat two meals a day. The oldest daughter is 16 and has a 6 month old baby and her boyfriend left her without giving any reason. Now her family is helping her since it is hard for her to find work due to the fact that she needs to take care of the baby, is a minor and doesn´t have an education. The only work that she could aspire to do is making tortillas, housekeeping or doing farm work.

 

The father does farm work on nearby plantations. Sometimes the work runs out at one plantation and he has to go to other plantations to find work. The mother doesn´t work because she takes care of all of the children. She says that none of her children have ever gone to school because the family can´t afford it. The parents also never studied because their parents only taught them farm work and housework.

 

The family is very excited about the idea of improving their home. The construction will start on Friday October 31, 2014 and the family is very appreciative of the support that the God´s Child Project is going to give them.

 

 

He is a hard working man.  He fights for his family.

He was raised in Alotenango and since he was a child he dreamed of becoming a professional and giving his family the kind of opportunity he never had.  As a child, his parents sent him to work so he had to stop attending school.  This wa a huge limitation for him in his development.  He only made it to fourth grade.  

When he grew up he married his wife who was also from a very poor family and didn't have a proper education.  She had stopped going to school because her parents thought that girls needed to stay home and work.

Both of them became agriculturers and worked the land.  They were never payed sufficient and always struggled to get food and other basic needs.

They currently live in a house that is made of sugar cane walls, a tin roof and a mud floor.  It is not a home that they are proud of and everytime it rains they get completely wet inside the house.  The children in the house are getting sick all the time because of these adverse living conditions.  This is why we need to help this family to achive their dream of owning their own home.  A basic home that will keep them out of the cold and out of the rain.  A home where they will not be getting sick as often and have a life that is more dignified  

 

Please help us help build a house for this family.

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Organization

Project Leader

Patrick Atkinson

Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Where is this project located?

Map of Homes for Homeless Families in Guatemala