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Improving living conditions for families

Fernando (left), Josue (Right)

The Common Hope housing team is currently experiencing an exciting and innovative time with numerous pilot projects underway. In 2021 with the help of the social work team, they surveyed families to identify current needs. This survey provided crucial information for the housing program, as it identified families’ concerns. Feedback from families helps the housing program create solutions specially tailored to their needs.

Installation of an energy saving stove.

Installation of an energy-saving stove.

The survey affirmed that many families still lacked sufficient living space, live in homes with unhealthy air pollution due to cooking over open flames, and had no designated area for their children to study and complete homework. Because of this result, they have been testing new materials, and home layout designs, and have invested in 45 desks that will be installed in the homes of families with the most need.

Leading these efforts are Josue Sican and Fernando Santos, who have worked at Common Hope for over 18 years. Fernando shared that as a program, it is crucial for them to seek out ways to enhance the living conditions of families. They prioritize finding solutions for any issues that may inconvenience families to create safer, more stable homes.

Fernando and Josue live in San Juan del Obispo, a community that is also home to Common Hope families. Assisting their local community has significant meaning for the duo, as they have witnessed firsthand the positive effects that housing has had on their neighbors and friends.

Vision Team volunteers will help put together the desks that were recently delivered.

“Some of Common Hope’s programs take many years to see impact, but the impact of the housing program can be instantaneous. In a week we can build a house and that can provide immediate relief for families,” shared Josue.  

More than 25% of Guatemalans live on less than $2/day, so improving their housing situation can be challenging. Often, families must prioritize other essential expenses like food, clothing, or rent. But through Common Hope’s support, families can put their children’s education first by having a safe and secure place to call home.

“In our program, tears of frustration and sadness are transformed into tears of happiness,” said Fernando.

A safe and dignified home can truly change everything


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