banner image
Coming home: September 2011 -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Coming home: September 2011

Brighter Times Ahead


Photo by Ezra Millstein

Eight-year-old Omar Vasquez studies for school inside his family’s makeshift home in San Martin Jilotepeque, Guatemala. Omar’s textbook and face are illuminated by sunshine penetrating through cracks in the wooden shelter. For 25 years, Omar’s grandparents — Maria Teresa Ramirez and Miguel Angel Juares, pictured in the background — had lived in the same house. As their family grew to include children such as Omar’s father, Edwin Yoani Vazquez, space grew tighter.

To ease the suffocating conditions, Maria and Miguel recently moved into this improvised structure with Omar, Edwin and two other grandchildren. Thankfully, their time here is temporary. Soon, Omar will have more space — and light — to study in a new, block home the family is building with Habitat Guatemala. “Omar always arrives back at the house after school and immediately asks about the volunteers,” says his grandmother, Maria Teresa. “The volunteers all work so hard, also chatting and playing with the children. We are very happy we have the opportunity to know them and to work together to build the house.”