Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Opportunity to buy land!

11/19ths of the Ibate family
Mayan Families always has many families in need of secure housing.  The houses that we have been able to build are a dramatic, lasting relief to families who have often been struggling for years.  Unfortunately, the price of land in Panajachel is so high that we rarely have the resources to purchase it on our own.  Thanks to the generosity of donors, we now own two pieces of land in Pana.  On one plot, we have already built a new home for a large family that lost their home in Agatha.  On the other, construction has already begun on a house for the Ibate family, which has 19 members, and is about to be evicted from the small shack that they have been sharing for years.
The construction site.

These two properties are almost next to each other--they are separated only by one plot of land.  A few days ago, we got some great news--the owner of the property in the middle wants to sell, and is asking only $3500!  If Mayan Families can purchase the land in between the properties we already own, we will have space to build houses for three families in need (and maybe more--we are looking at ways to make the best use of the space).  Unfortunately, we need to raise the money very quickly--we have just one week to pay.

Part of the Ramirez Raynoso family in their cooking area.
There are three families in particular need of housing help who could benefit tremendously if we are successful in purchasing this land.  One is a single mother with a large family (click here to read more about the Ramirez Raynoso family).  There are 11 people living in their current home, which consists of two small rented rooms and an outdoor 'kitchen' that makes it impossible to cook in rain or strong wind.  They were recently saved from eviction by the generous efforts of a sponsor, but still have difficulty putting food on the table.  A home of their own would be a long-term solution to their constant struggle to pay for both food and housing.

Merlyn (5), Angela, and Gloria (8)
Another family that could be helped by these new homes is that of Angela Lopez Mendez.  Angela has separated from her husband, and because her husband earns more money, he has custody of her two older children (8 and 15).  Her youngest daughter, Merlyn (5), is with Angela, and her older daughter, Gloria (8), wants to return to her mother, but she won't be allowed to until Angela has a better living situation.  Angela and Merlyn recently lost their living situation (click here to read their full story). Because Merlyn isn't in school yet and her older siblings aren't at home to watch her, Angela has had a difficult time finding work that will allow her to care for her daughter, and they are struggling to pay even the low rent on their small, fly-infested single room.  If they had a house, Gloria could come home to her mother, and Angela could direct all of her income towards making sure that her kids are fed and clothed.

Carlos (10) and Angelica
Finally, there are Angelica and her 10-year-old son, Carlos.  Angelica, who is 6 months pregnant, lost her husband in a motorcycle accident 3 and a half months ago.  They had been living with her husband's family, but they threw Angelica and Carlos out of the house immediately after his death (click here for their full story).  She has been selling her few possessions to pay the rent on the room that she and Carlos share, but she is running out of things to sell, and she and Carlos aren't eating much.  With a home of their own, she could concentrate on feeding her son, taking care of herself, and getting ready for the arrival of her daughter.

This finished house is now home for a family that lost theirs in Agatha.
Of course, everyone here at Mayan Families is excited at the prospect of being able to do so much good for these three families (and perhaps even others), but we need your help!  To donate towards the purchase of this land, go to Donate Now.  Enter your gift in the other box, and enter the description as "Land Purchase."  This effort has the potential to do an incredible amount of good--thank you for your support!

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