Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Update on Catarina and her new home in Guatemala!

We want to take the opportunity to give you all the details and pictures of Caterina’s big move!  It’s been about a two weeks since Caterina and her kids moved into the new house, but Mayan Families staff and volunteers were putting the finishing touches on the house–covering the cracks between the wall boards, cutting out windows, building a table and benches, and installing a lock on the front door–until last week.  Last Friday, we went to deliver the table and chairs, and we got to talk to Caterina about her new living situation. (To read Caterina’s story, click here, and here.)
Caterina and two of her daughters in the new house

Juan cuts wood strips to finish up the walls, by putting a second layer over the cracks between the boards.
Daughter in kitchen
One of Caterina's daughters in her new kitchen.
As the kids played and the table and benches were set up, we were able to chat with Caterina. She told us how grateful she is to have her kids in her own home, instead of in the conflict-ridden and sometimes violent home she left. And she told us how hard it has been to save money without a husband to earn wages for the family. But she also said she’d prefer this to having to stay with him – he was an abusive drunk, and she told us she’s much better off without him, no matter how hard it is. (We absolutely agree!)
Talking with Caterina gave us some good insight into the sort of relationships and conflict she’s had to live with throughout her life. Waving goodbye to Caterina as she sat in her new kitchen, surrounded by her family and four walls she can finally call her own, it was clear what a different lifestyle this house
Caterina's daughters
The youngest two girls playing in the house.
brings for the family. The kids can grow up free of the abuse of their relatives. And Caterina can rest easy know her children won’t be exposed to the dysfunction that her stepfather brought to the home. (In fact, we learned on Friday that Caterina’s stepfather left her mother and married her sister when the sister was only 14 years old – can we say again how glad we are that Caterina and her daughters are out of that house?) Finally, Caterina and her children can lead lives of their own making.
From all of us, thank you for the donations and support for Caterina – none of this would have been possible without you! Building Caterina’s house was a tremendous success, and really helped us get the Family Aid Program off of the ground. But there are still many, many families in the program who are struggling with dire need. Please help us turn more of their stories into successes – Check out the Family Aid Blog to read about the other families in the program. Even a contribution of a few dollars goes a long way, and can make a big difference for a family here.

Table and benches
The new table and benches in the kitchen

Caterina in her room
Caterina in her new bedroom.

Inside the kitchen
Thank you for making this possible!

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