Habitat for Humanity Strengthens Families
Tomás Sánchez Hernández and his family lived in a one-room apartment before moving into their new Habitat for Humanity home.
By Heather Wilkinson
Musician Tomás Sánchez Hernández sits in the doorway of the tiny room that he shares with his wife and children and strums the guitar. “This is my favorite place to play,” he says. He and his wife Elizabeth have lived in the room for nearly a year and are looking forward to having more space, including a room for their daughters — 3-year-old Annette and 10-month-old Alejandra.
Tomás and Elizabeth found out about Habitat and the Jimmy Carter Work Project from a friend who is a Habitat homeowner in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz. They were attracted to the collaborative approach that Habitat takes to building houses. “I was really impressed with the way that Habitat runs the program,” says Elizabeth. “Everyone works together to build the houses: volunteers, businesses, partner families.”
Elizabeth says that working with Habitat has taught her to see the world in a new way. “Habitat has given me the opportunity to get to know people I might never have met otherwise. The partnership has also exposed me to new ways of thinking. I’m amazed that people from all over the world are coming to Veracruz to help build our home,” she says.
Tomás says that working with Habitat to build a home has brought him and his family closer together. “I used to travel a lot with my work, but I really appreciate my family now.” He also says that Habitat’s sweat equity requirements have taught him values such as sharing and thankfulness.
“Our life will change a lot once we have our own home,” says Elizabeth. “We won’t have to move from place to place anymore. It’s wonderful to know that from now on we will always have somewhere to call home.”