Us on the Facebook page for Habitat Guatemala!
Our team successfully helped raise funds for and build two simple, decent and affordable homes in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala! The homes we built are worth $5,000 U.S. dollars. The families will pay for them over 10 years. One of the homeowners was in tears at the closing ceremony. She was very grateful that we would come to help her family have a safe, decent and affordable home. Instead of paying 700 Quetzals in rent, her family will now pay 200 Quetzals on the mortgage for their Habitat home! We are extremely blessed to be part of this life-transforming experience. I'm grateful we could put God's love into action by building homes, community and hope.
Today was another exciting and productive day on our build sites. Group #1 finished filling their "U" blocks with rebar and concrete. Tomorrow they should be receiving materials to start on their roof! The field coordinator/translator for Group #2 became ill and had to leave the site. Fortunately, our team members knew enough Spanglish to get some work accomplished and even spent time working and talking with homeowners, Enrique and Angelina.
Our team enjoyed two cultural activities today. The first was a medicinal plant class taught by a Mayan bone setter. We made eucalyptus pomade, tasted herbal teas, got a eucalyptus sinus treatment, learned how to use plants to relieve everyday ailments, and watched him demonstrate how to "set" a fractured arm using a tobacco leaf, wooden sticks, gauge and string. The other was a championship playoff soccer game between Xela and Guatemala City's professional soccer teams.
On day two of building in Xela, we arrived to find that the mason workers had made some significant progress on the homes. The weather was hot during the morning and turned cloudy, breezy and cooler during the afternoon. We continued with the tasks that we began on Monday and spent more time laughing and enjoying each other's company. Group #1 had some special interactions with nearby children who came to visit their site. Group #2 met the husband who will live in the home they're building. We are on schedule to posssibly have roofs erected on both homes by Friday! The video clip above gives you a glance of Group #2's build site.
Our first day on the build sites went really well! Since we're building on two Habitat homes, we have two groups. Today both groups worked diligently mixing concrete and mortar, shoveling dirt and gravel and moving cinder blocks, wood planks, and cement. The high elevation made it challenging to breathe at first, but the team jumped right in, learning new construction techniques in a new environment. Some of the "highs" for the day were: getting to separate cinder blocks with a machete, working with the masons on the site and getting to know each other better during the build day.
The Devotions for the day came from Hebrews 13:1-2 and touched on "putting love into action."
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1, 2 NIV)
Christ-follower. Army wife. Mompreneur. @Habitat_org Global Village Team Leader. Crab claw lover. Advocate for adequate shelter, releasing children from poverty and ending human trafficking and slavery.