Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Habitat's work in Guatemala
Housing need in Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the richest and most diverse countries in Central America, and it accounts for about 40 percent of the region’s population. It is also one of the poorest and most inequitable countries in Latin America.
Guatemala suffered a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996. With more than 200,000 people missing or killed, the conflict — primarily over land rights — left the country deeply fragmented. Land rights issues still exist, with 1.2 percent of the population owning 60 percent of the land. The current housing deficit in Guatemala is over 1.8 million homes. Not enough homes are being built, and many people who have homes lack legal claim to the land or live in inadequate shelter threatened by severe weather, theft or eviction. In addition, homes often have insufficient space or lack access to basic services.
Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala
Founded in 1979, Habitat for Humanity Guatemala was the first Habitat organization in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Since the construction of its first home in Aguacatán, Huehuetenango, Habitat Guatemala has served more than 61,000 families in need of housing solutions.
Habitat’s contribution in Guatemala
Habitat Guatemala helps low-income families improve their living conditions by building new homes and housing communities, stabilizing and improving existing houses, and offering smokeless stoves, water filters and basic sanitation services.
Habitat Guatemala´s mission is to work together through our faith and with the help of people from around the world to support those in need by building, adding to or improving houses so that all Guatemalans have access to basic housing necessities and can live in a stable home. Habitat Guatemala’s vision is that all families in Guatemala inhabit a decent house.
Meet a Habitat family
Marilyn Janeth Flores Cruz had been trying to provide her children, Katrin, Gilmer and Byron, with a better life for years. The construction of her new Habitat home assured Marilyn that she had finally achieved that goal.
Two years ago, the family lived in Guatemala City, where Marilyn constantly felt that her children were in danger. “We shared a bedroom that had several broken windows and a ceiling of deteriorated wood,” Cruz said. “My children didn´t have the liberty to play.”
Now the siblings swing in the hammock that hangs from their new room in their Habitat home. Their smiles, as well as the one that lights up their mother´s face, are a representation of the hopeful future that lies ahead for this family.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Guatemala, please contact us:
Luis Samayoa, National Director
Julia Rao, Manager of International Donor Relations