What inspired us, even in the rough times? Our children and our dreams for giving them a great life!
We live in Rio Claro in south Trinidad, and we heard about Habitat at a community meeting about 14 years ago. We have two children now – our daughter was just five at the time we applied, now 19 and our “lagniappe” our son, who is 13 years old now. We loved the fact that it provides affordable housing. The banking system didn’t really work for us as a young family now starting out, but the Habitat formula gave us a chance to stand on our feet and get away from renting.
We broke ground and built in 3 months, within budget, and I am not a contractor by trade. I am handy with my hands, and I was able to find ways to make the process work. I made an arrangement to act as the site supervisor for my home, eliminating the technical charges and committing to managing the construction budget myself. That way, our overall costs came down and I was able to put my sweat equity hours to good use, managing the construction of my home and learning useful skills at the same time.
When the Global Village (foreign volunteer) teams came to Trinidad, I would use three or four persons on my project, freeing up the rest of the group to focus on other Habitat homes in the Rio Claro area. I had a great experience working with the foreign teams; they work very, VERY hard, so I took full advantage of the blessing.
We had some rough times over the years, but we committed to paying off. Habitat was very understanding, and this made it easier in a way to meet our obligations to Habitat. Nayla especially pushed that we always pay, because we knew that the money was going to help other families to see their way.
Don’t listen to the second-hand news on the block; take the time to come to Habitat, and take the time to understand exactly what Habitat does, and how YOUR effort is multiplied by working within the Habitat process.
A home is safety, and security, but more than that, it’s the love!