Volunteers return to their roots in Paraguay
June 2, 2011
A group of young adults, born in Paraguay and adopted by North American families, return to their roots as volunteers.
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay (June 2, 2011) –Five young adults, born in Paraguay and adopted 20 years ago by North American families, have returned to their roots as Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
Daniel, Noah, Leva, Richard and Myriam spent a week supporting Habitat for Humanity Paraguay in its efforts to improve the housing conditions of low-income families. The group helped to build the home of Florencia Cáceres and Nelson Riveros in Capiatá city.
The team leader, Donna Reulbach (Boston, MA) described the process of putting this special group together. They share a special connection with Paraguay, she says, and are excited to help people who are in need of an adequate place to live.
The team is made up of 10 volunteers, four parents and six youth between the ages of 19 and 21. They traveled from different areas of the United States, but all share the desire to work and a passion for Habitat for Humanity’s mission.
The partner family, Florencia and Nelson, expressed their gratitude to the volunteers and a great admiration for their call to serve others. They also highlighted that building their new home alongside foreign volunteers is a unique experience—one that projects unity, respect and teamwork despite cultural and socioeconomic differences.
Daniel (21) said that he was excited to be able to reconnect to his roots. “I feel very happy to be here and to know the place where I was born, in addition to have the ability to help,” he said. He expressed that he felt that he identified with the country and the culture and hoped to continue helping others in Paraguay.
Leva (20) felt more aware of the reality of life in Paraguay, and pointed out that not every day does one see so much poverty in her country. “When we went to visit Chacarita, I wanted to go in and talk to people and offer my help, but I don’t even speak Spanish. I could have been any one of these people,” she said. She added that she felt the Paraguayan culture was very rich in values, particularly its strong focus on family. “I would love to promote these values in my country.”
The youth reaffirmed their commitment to continue helping Paraguayan families and highlighted that the experience has helped them to better understand their origins and to learn about the different realities of families in Paraguay.
About Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean
Habitat for Humanity first opened its doors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 1979, and has since helped more than 100,000 low-income families to access adequate housing in the region. Headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Latin America and Caribbean regional office coordinates the efforts of 16 national organizations, as well as unique partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit habitatlatino.org.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.