This past June, Carly Peterson, an HLFYA, traveled to Guatemala and constructed a shelter for a family in need.

Through her independent service project with HLF, she was introduced to an organization called From Houses To Homes that provides secure shelter, education, and medical care to poverty-stricken families living in Guatemala.  Their company is responsible for creating over 1,100 homes to date.

Her mission was to raise funds prior to her service trip through an online Go Fund Me campaign.  She collected $3,486 which surpassed her goal of $2,000 minimum requirement in order to sponsor a home.  The remaining money was donated to the family of six in which she built the house for and the House To Homes organization.  Carly reached out to people for donations through spreading her link on social media.  Those contributions directly provided the children with schooling and families with medical care.  She also donated 5 suitcases full of clothing items, toys, and candy that were gathered from many of her family and friends.

She helped upgrade their unprotected grassy mud hut living conditions into a structurally sound cinder block home painted in blue and orange, the children’s favorite colors.  These sturdy, secure homes are built out of cinder block, concrete, metal roof, and a door with a lock.  Her group was guided by two construction workers and one of them happened to be wearing a Rangers shirt, ironically.  Some of the tasks she completed were hammering holes into cinder blocks, mixing many piles of cement using only shovels, filling cement between cracks, and painting on the finishing touches.

At the end of the week, a ceremony was held for the family to celebrate and Carly was honored to have handed over the keys to the families’ brand new home.  She said it was a life changing experience and she returned to America with a stronger appreciation of what she is blessed to have.

Written by Carly Peterson