Max Jacques and family

Max Jacques had never heard of an earthquake. But that didn’t stop one from changing his life forever.

“Nobody told us what an earthquake was,” he says. “When the earthquake happened, I thought it was something like an electric shock in the house, the way it was shaking. But then after that, when we saw so many things destroyed, they told us it was an earthquake.”

One of the things the quake destroyed was the house in Léogâne where Max and his family rented a room. Though no one in his immediate family was hurt, other residents of the house weren’t so lucky.

Now he and his wife, Laudena Lormine, and his little brother, Jean-Louis, live in a cramped, hot tent.

“I do not feel at peace living here, because I did not used to live this way before,” he says. “When it’s raining, we can’t stay inside. We have to sleep at our neighbors’ sometimes.”

Before the earthquake, friends and members of his family helped him out when he needed a little extra money. But they, too, suffered losses in the disaster and are no longer in a position to help him.

Max, 25, used to work as a mason, and is hopeful that someday he will again find work in his field. He is grateful for the help Habitat is offering, which he is reminded of every time he sees the construction site.

“That makes me think that Habitat was thinking about us, because we didn’t have money or things to buy a new house,” he says. “And I would like Habitat to think about others as well because we have so many people in need here, waiting for houses.”

Meanwhile, he’s excited about moving into his own new home.

“I will feel very, very proud to have a new house.”