Habitat for Humanity Paraguay
Habitat's work in Paraguay
Paraguay News and Stories
Housing need in Paraguay
Paraguay is the third poorest country in South America. Of its 6,340,000 inhabitants (2011), more than 35 percent lives in conditions of poverty and nearly 20 percent in extreme poverty, earning less than US $1 per day.
In Paraguay, thousands of farmers and indigenous families have been expelled from the land through corruption. More than 85 percent of the land parcels greater than 500 hectares (1,235 acres) are owned by just 2.6 percent of landowners. This polarization of land tenure is accentuated year after year and directly relates to the housing situation.
An estimated 1.1 million houses are needed in Paraguay, according to the SENAVITAT 2011- PLANHAVI Report, and this number grows every year.
In addition, 43 out of 100 families— 39 percent in urban areas and 50 percent in rural areas — live in an inadequate house, according to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank.
Lack of access to soft credit for housing and the rural exodus — mass migration from rural to urban areas — are the main reasons families are living in unsafe and overcrowded houses. These situations are producing a rapid growth in the housing deficit.
Habitat for Humanity in Paraguay
Habitat for Humanity Paraguay seeks to eliminate inadequate housing by providing resources to make housing solutions possible for families who cannot afford traditional loans. Since 1998, it has supported more than 4,500 families. Learn more at habitat.org.py.
Habitat’s contribution in Paraguay
Habitat Paraguay is committed to supporting families who cannot afford traditional housing loans by granting credits for the construction of houses at a low cost. Habitat Paraguay also provides technical assistance to help build and repair homes and offers construction materials at an affordable cost. Families repay loans to Habitat over time through affordable mortgages.
One of the biggest challenges facing Paraguay is the qualitative housing deficit that affects more than 870,000 families. These families have a place to live, but their home is not adequate because of moisture leaks, a lack of space, poor or no electrical connections, or inadequate sanitation. Habitat Paraguay responds to these needs with technical construction assistance for repairs, renovations and expansions. For families in need of new houses, Habitat Paraguay provides access to the Juntos por tu Hogar (Together for Your Home) project with Vision Bank.
Services to access housing
Habitat promotes the work of local leaders — in towns, neighborhood committees, schools, churches, businesses, NGOs, etc. — to influence the cause of adequate housing and reach families who are in need of new homes or improvements to their housing conditions. Within communities, we work with volunteers known as community agents — leaders who are committed to transforming their community and who allow us to approach them.
Each year, Habitat Paraguay mobilizes between six and seven international teams through Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program, along with 10 to 12 national teams that help with construction. Within communities, we have volunteer committees who coordinate informational meetings in their neighborhoods. Volunteers and interns also work in our office, and other volunteers come through Habitat’s International Volunteer Program.
During the year, we hold blitz builds to raise awareness and mobilize volunteers. We encourage the participation of families, businesses, suppliers and volunteers who enjoy helping others and understand the need for adequate housing.
Meet a Habitat family
Mirna Solís has more than 20 years of experience teaching at San Roque school in Capiatá. She and her husband, Bernardino Melgarejo, have four daughters: Karen Gisell, 17; Amalia Belén, 15; Ana Verónica, 9; and Victoria Analia, 3.
“We lived in rentals for 20 years,” Solís said. “We were not well-acquainted with the work of Habitat, and we thought that it would be difficult to secure. Bad experiences in the past made us nervous. However, after talking with people who had already constructed houses using the services of Habitat, looking at Facebook, and attending four of their meetings, we were convinced to accomplish our dream.”
Solís and her family received help from volunteers from the United States who came to Paraguay to help build the house. “It was a week of intense work,” Solís said.
“Thank you Habitat for existing! We feel overjoyed and blessed, because through the blessings of God this has been made possible.”
To learn more about Habitat projects in Paraguay, please contact us:
- Raquel Bertran, Resource Development Director firstname.lastname@example.org
- Azucena Marusyn, Resource Development Manager email@example.com