“Part of setting an example is providing your family with a secure place to live” – José
José is the father of two children and a math teacher to many students at the public high school in Santa Cruz, Honduras. He wants to teach his daughters, 10-year-old Génesis and 6-year-old Madelyn, that a home is where families bond and grow strong together, he says, where children flourish in body and spirit.
He wants to teach his students that hard work, perseverance and responsibility is the equation for success. It is the one he followed to become a homeowner.
“I have to bring this message to young people, so that tomorrow they can benefit the way that I have.”
For a long time, José and his wife, Martha, struggled to figure out the path to homeownership. In Santa Cruz, land is in high demand and short supply. “There were people with land, but it was very expensive,” José says. “With what I earn, if we could have somehow gotten the land, we wouldn’t have had enough money to build a home.”
A New Home for the Children
Through the advocacy efforts of Habitat Honduras and other community partners, the city of Santa Cruz adopted a housing policy aimed at helping families afford stable and decent homes. The city might acquire land, offer financial assistance, waive building permit fees, contribute construction materials and labor, put in roads or provide access to water and other services. It works with Habitat, private businesses and others partners to increase opportunities for affordable housing.
Through this collaboration, José and Martha were able to buy a Habitat home four years ago. José smiles when talking about life in the house, which is decorated with family photos, school diplomas marking the girls’ progress from grade to grade, and artwork that Martha makes from glass bottles and other materials that she recycles. The younger daughter, Madelyn, is artistic like her mom, while Génesis is good with numbers like her dad.