By Grettell Salazar Chacon, social development director of “Un Techo para mi Pais,” a Habitat for Humanity partner
Grettell Salazar Chacon spends time with a child after a financial-education workshop in Costa Rica.
Learn more about Habitat Costa Rica’s  commitment to financial education for its partner families.
Un Techo para mi Pais (“A Roof for My Country”) mobilizes youth volunteers in Latin America to help some of our region’s most marginalized people improve their quality of life at home. We share many dreams of justice and opportunity with those who work with Habitat for Humanity.
By working in partnership with Habitat Costa Rica, we are able to jointly offer financial-education workshops. The workshops have led to new community leadership — personified in the mothers who struggle each day to develop their families and communities.
Magally Casanova, from La Cuenca, told me she viewed the workshops as “an opportunity on every level. To learn things that will benefit you and your family, to learn to share that information with others, and to meet new people. I am motivated to continue working.”
Magally and many other women here now have the confidence to pass these skills on to others. They have discovered that other communities share similar needs. They have a new understanding of how each has the power to change their own reality, and they have spent time sharing the deep emotion that all of these lessons inspire.
Any development effort that does not give voice to those who live daily in a context of exclusion and vulnerability runs the risk of becoming lost. A voice, truly empowered, is one that is heard without decoration or formality, without prejudice on the part of those who listen. It is in this space that we can meet and re-meet one another in a way that allows us to generate real change.