2012 Built Three Homes
This trip our group was certain we could do more for the widows of Joyabaj – and we did. For the first time, we build three homes in one week.
We asked Juana how long she had been a widow. She said maybe around 10 years. The translater then explained that the Quiche people do not keep the concept of time. In fact, they don’t have a word for anything beyond a couple of weeks past or present. In reality, Juana was widowed during the civil war almost 30 years ago, where she not only lost her husband, but her home and land were pillaged. She had been living with her son until we built her a home of her own right next her son. She was excited to have a home of her own and to no longer need to be a burden to her son and his wife.
Maria is young and is able to work as a housekeeper. Her daughter, now 8, was three when her husband was killed by a drunk driver. Maria was forced to move with her daughter into her mothers home, who between siblings and cousins, was already home to nine other children. She now has a home on her mothers property that she and her daughter can call their own.
Reigna has also experienced first hand the atrocities of the civil war. It was explained to us that she has been through some unspeakable things. Abandoned by her family, she has lived alone in a “lien-to” constructed under a tree for more than 40 years. She couldn’t believe that we would come all the way from the U.S. to build her a home of her own. She had never experienced such kindness. With the safety and security of her own home, constructed right next to her “lien-to,” her life was forever changed.