BENEFITING: FROM HOUSES TO HOMES-GUATEMALA INC
EVENT DATE: Jul 09, 2014
My name is Asia Martin, I'm a 25-year-old college graduate looking to make as much of a positive effect on the world as I can. I work at a nonprofit and I run a small business that I enjoy. But I have nomadic desires and I want to put them towards missionary work.
This year I promised myself I would pack my bags and jump on a flight to a different country and DO SOMETHING good that's out of my norm and that's besides sight seeing and socializing with the locals. So I took up an offer to join a former co-workers yearly visit to Guatemala to volunteer with From Houses to Homes.
From Houses to Homes is based in New Jersey but they serve and operate in Antigua, Guatemala builidng houses for families who are low income and impoverished families that need decent places to call homes for security and health reasons. From Houses to Homes also provides health and education to disadvantaged communities throughout Guatemala. "Nearly 100 percent of all donations" go towards their efforts. You can read more about the agency by clicking on the link provided or reading below.
I have already registered as a volunteer, paid for my flight and I'm thankfully and hopefully will still be healthy enough to build a house. BUT I need help raising money for the $500 donation there, which is where you come in.
I'm asking for whatever is on your heart to give or whatever is feasible for you to give.
Thank you for taking the time to come here and check out my cause. I hope that some of you will join me next year.
I'll leave you with this quote: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
More About From Houses to Homes:
From Houses to Homes aims to strengthen community harmony in highland Guatemala by building lasting healthy homes, improving access to health care and education, and inspiring participation between the poor and civil society.
In the poorest areas of highland Guatemala, improper building materials, a lack of appropriate resources, and unsustainable architectures turn houses to foul rubble in the blink of an eye. Many families live in makeshift homes that are constructed of nothing more than cornstalk or cardboard walls with dirt floors. Decrepit housing squashes hope, fuels health problems, and destroys family unity. From Houses to Homes-Guatemala, Inc., recognizes that flourishing homes and thriving communities begin with improving actual home structure. From Houses to Homes works with the poorest of Guatemalan families to build or rebuild houses making them strong, safe, culturally appropriate, and affordable to maintain. These homes become the foundation for a community building process.
Each home costs approximately $1,750.00. Our homes are 13 x 19 foot homes, made entirely of concrete block, with cement floor, corrugated metal roof, with skylight, a metal door with lock, and a metal-framed window with glass. The home is stuccoed and painted inside and out with colors chosen by the home owner. We are now including a bunkbed in every home. A plaque with your name will be placed on the home honoring your donation.
HOW WE SELECT OUR FAMILIES
There are over one million corn stalk shacks in Guatemala. Some communities consist entirely of these provisional houses which sometime include additional scavenged resources, like corrugated metal siding, scraps of wood, or even plastic bags as siding. All houses have dirt floors, occasionally a bed, and most with leaky roofs.
We at FHTH try to visit every family three or more times over several months at unannounced times to see how the families are actually living. The only requirement to receive a home is that they are very poor and can prove ownership of the property.
We then try to select the families with the largest number of members so there will be a benefit to the largest number of people. A single mother with five or more children will head the list. During our first eight years of operation we have averaged six members per home. This means that FHTH has provided a safe home to approximately 3,750 people.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
While home building is our main focus, we recognize that houses just remain structures and communities remain collections of impoverished families without proper health and education. In addition to homes, we believe that providing poor families with better access to healthcare and education most effectively helps address community deterioration in highland Guatemala. From Houses to Homes a new San Jose Medical Clinic in Pastores, Guatemala and we provide free health and dental care to all the families we have built homes for as well as all the children and their families in our new school, Escuela Kemna'oj, in Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala. Escuela Kemna'oj has 2 preschool grades and grades one, two, three and four and we educate 120 children in this indigenous community. We will add a grade every year until we reach grade 6. While we can't combat this problem in its entirety, we are trying to assist the neediest families in the highlands.