HOUSING IN GUATEMALA
Over half the population of Guatemala lacks dignified housing with utilities and sufficient space. Sometimes, circumstances beyond a family’s control force them into an unsafe living situation. Such was the case for the Landaverde Sac family.
Don Oscar had agreed to co-sign a loan for a friend. Sadly, his friend defaulted on the loan. This meant Don Oscar was responsible for paying it back. For two years, Don Oscar didn’t receive a paycheck. The loss of income forced Don Oscar, his wife Doña Elida, and their three sons to move out of the house they were renting.
Due to their economic situation, the family moved to a very small piece of land and built a shelter from scraps of metal, plastic tarps, and whatever other materials they could find. They had only one proper wall, which was their neighbor’s. This one-room shelter could not protect them from the rain, wind, or cold. Rats sometimes invaded their space and the wind would blow trash in. During rainy season, the rain would get all of their belongings wet. Mauro, Leon, and Alexander, Don Oscar’s sons, had to do their homework multiple times because it would get wet. Frequently, everyone in the family was sick. The situation for the Landaverde Sac family was dire.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOUND
Doña Elida cannot read or write. Growing up, her family did not make enough money to send her to school. Her dream was to build a better life for her family. She wanted nothing more than to see her sons graduate from high school and create a better future for themselves and their family.
The Landaverde Sac family began partnering with Common Hope in December 2013 before their economic situation changed. An urgent need for a new home was immediately identified by Common Hope’s social worker after visiting the site where they relocated. They were accepted into the Housing Program and Doña Elida began to fulfill the required number of volunteer hours in order to earn a new home for their family
“Common Hope was a ray of light during this difficult time. We are proud of our new home and thankful for the opportunity for ourchildren to study,” says Doña Elida.
In 2018, Doña Elida’s dream for her family became real. Working alongside the Allina Friends Vision Team, the family’s new home was constructed with lots of love and hard work.
Thank you to the team members (pictured above) who made this possible: Nancy McCallum, Suzan Ford, Jennifer Most, Mary Rahman, Mary Smith, Stacey Peck, and Mary Lambert.
Want to know more about the Landaverde Sac family? Join our social workers for a virtual visit with Doña Elida.
Read our 2019 Spring Newsletter to learn more about housing conditions in Guatemala, Common Hope’s Housing Program and how you can get involved.