From Houses to Homes
From Houses to Homes is a nonprofit organization that builds homes for and improves the lives of the rural poor in highland Guatemala.
Many families in the poorest regions of highland Guatemala live in shacks made of cornstalk and any other materials that can be scavenged – plastic bags, scraps of wood, cardboard. In fact, over a million such makeshift homes exist in Guatemala. “Decrepit housing quashes hope, fuels health problems, and destroys family unity.”
From Houses to Homes works with the poorest Guatemalan families to provide them with proper housing. Cornstalk and rubbish homes are replaced with sturdy homes made of concrete block that is stuccoed and painted with colors chosen by the homeowners. Flimsy roofs are replaced by corrugated metal roofs with a skylight and dirt floors replaced by cement floors. Within their first five years of operation, the organization has provided new housing for approximately 1,680 people.
In addition to providing families with homes, From Houses to Homes also helps provide the families access to education and healthcare by subsidizing school registration fees and costs of medical care. The organization also works with communities to increase civic engagement, creating supportive, tight-knit neighborhoods.