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New hope for the Rivas-Pictan family




“We are very happy, and my family and I have many plans for our new home.”

The Rivas-Pictans live in las Brisas, a small community tucked into the “Gracias a Dios”—or “Thanks to God” department in the Mosquito Coast of Honduras.

The Mosquito Coast is one of the most remote regions of the country, and to access construction materials they have to be transported in very small loads from La Ceiba. However, despite the region’s limitations, Habitat for Humanity Honduras has developed a project to serve 30 families, starting in Puerto Lempira. As part of the most vulnerable and impoverished populations in the country, the families will improve their quality of life by building new, 36 square-meter homes in partnership with Habitat Honduras.

Jarly Rivas and Emelda Pictan, both native Meskito, have four children: Bessy, 14; Marla, 12; Mayelly, 10; and 5-year-old Jariel.

Rivas suffered a serious accident in November of 2008, damaging his spine and rendering him to a wheelchair. His wife, Emelda, does laundry for the local hospital and brings home about US$135 a month for the family. In her 22 years of life together, the Rivas have lived with other families, rented or temporarily borrowed housing. They currently live in a small shack, its scrap wood walls barely holding together, that was lent to them by Jarly’s mother.

The housing solutions provided by Habitat for Humanity Honduras in this region provide hope for Meskito families like the Rivas-Pictan, who are building a new, concrete-block home in partnership with the organization.

“Before my accident, I had little hope of building my own home. After the accident, I had none. I can’t work. But thanks to God and to Habitat, we are able to have our own house. It still feels as though I am dreaming. We are very happy, and my family and I have many plans for our new home,” says Rivas.



The Rivas-Pictan’s current housing conditions.

Construction of the family’s future home.