Blog > Supporter Appreciation Home Construction > Supporter Appreciation: Family in Critical Living Situation Gets New House Thanks to Razoo Supporters!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Supporter Appreciation: Family in Critical Living Situation Gets New House Thanks to Razoo Supporters!
Ashley Ford

Thank you to Shelter Program Volunteer, Jami Auslander for the contribution of this blog post.

Recently, Mayan Families successfully completed one of our first crowdfunding campaigns through! Thanks to generous supporters, we were able to raise enough to build an entire house for a family on our Critical Cases list in the village of San Jorge La Laguna!

The very deserving family that received the house is the Garcìa Alcut family.

The father, Ismael, works hard as a day laborer and the mother, Josefina, is the primary caregiver to the seven children, making sure all of their needs are taken care of.  Having a new home was always a dream of their family, but sadly they were never able to make improvements, as their money had to be put toward necessities such as food and school expenses. 

The previous condition of the house this family lived in was shockingly poor. It had only one room made of mud brick, where all of the family slept. There were dirt floors, the roof was made of tin sheeting, and the kitchen was outside and exposed to what can often be dangerous weather. They have just two makeshift beds made of wooden planks and a single closet that has to be used by the entire family. The electricity has to be borrowed, costing them around $10 US per month, which is a prohibitive amount to pay, especially since Ismael only makes about $16 US per month. The family must bathe using buckets often with dirty water. They also do not have a pila, which is a large outdoor sink, made of either cement or plastic, which is truly essential to Guatemalan life. 


With the funds raised, the project of building the Garcìa Alcut family a new home could begin! The idea was to build a prototype of our social housing as an example of the standard home we would like to construct for more families living in critical situations in the future. Construction started by preparing the land and leveling it with the support of a retaining wall. Each wall of the home is plastered on the interior and exterior, which will make a huge difference in reducing the potential for water damage, as well as improve the aesthetic quality of the structure. 

This prototype home, designed by the Mayan Families architecture team, incorporates aspects of a sustainable passive design. The design was created specifically to match the land, which included orienting the house to capture the sun and the wind in order to maximize the amount of light entering through glass blocks and transparent laminar.

The design limits the amount of electricity needed during the day, brightens the living space, and creates natural ventilation through the house. The new home also has large windows that offer an amazing view of the forest below! A spacious living area for the kitchen and eating area, three large bedrooms, and a cement floor with special paint to prevent cracking are a few more great aspects that make this new home both comfortable and sustainable for this deserving family.  

We are so thankful to the many supporters who contributed through the Razoo crowdfunding platform! All of their donations have drastically improved the living conditions of this family. However, the family is still lacking in furniture to turn their new house into a home. They are still in need of beds, tables and chairs for eating and doing schoolwork, and storage for their clothes and belongings. They also are still lacking a stove, water filter, and pila, which could truly change their quality of life.

With the success of this fundraising effort, we hope to run more campaigns in the future, in hopes to change the lives of more families in need. Please look out for future opportunities to donate to our critical cases, as any amount of money has the power to change a family’s life! 

To learn more about how you can help, email or consider donating to our General Shelter Program Fund today. 

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