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JCWP 2004


From Tragedy to Triumph: Widow Builds New Life for Herself, Children

Patricia and two of her children stand in front of their old house. They will soon have a new, safer, more affordable Habitat house in Puebla.

From 5 a.m. till 10 p.m., Patricia Osorio Landeros drives the streets of Puebla in her taxi. She does so to support her children, a responsibility that fell solely to her when her husband was murdered almost five years ago. Despite her grueling work schedule, Patricia finds time to serve on the board of both the Puebla Habitat for Humanity affiliate and a local women's group. With her busy schedule, how has she managed to contribute her sweat-equity hours to build her new house?

"I worked on the site on Mondays from 7 a.m. till 4 p.m.," she says matter-of-factly. Then she returned to her taxi runs for the rest of the evening. Patricia's son Victor, 23, has also worked numerous hours on the family's home, when he could get away from his job as a security guard.

Victor and his younger sisters Ana, 16, and Alma, 10, will share the new house, House #74, sponsored by Citigroup, with their mother. Their eldest sister, Maria del Rosario, is building her own house this week with her husband.

When she heard about the Jimmy Carter Work Project last December, Patricia made a Christmas wish that she would be able to get a new, secure house for her family. "You usually don't tell your wishes," she says with a smile, "but mine is coming true."

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