Juanita Alvarado and her grandson, Javier, stand in front of their Habitat house in Mixco, Guatemala. Juanita worked for years in Guatemala City, scraping together enough money to buy a piece of land. The only shelter the family could afford, however, was a makeshift structure of plastic and wood, with a rusty tin roof and dirt floor. Javier was often sick with respiratory infections because the house was always damp and humid. Juanita and her daughter, Irma, had chronic bronchitis. “Without the help of Habitat,” Irma says, “I would not have been able to give my son a safe home to grow up in.”
Learn more about the link between health and housing in Habitat’s 2011 Shelter Report .