Ezequiel Guadarrama is the epitome of dedication. From California, he met and married his wife, Martha Valencia, in Tijuana, Mexico. But Martha did not have the paperwork to become a U.S. resident yet. So Ezequiel would leave work in Santa Barbara every Friday to drive to Mexico to see his family. He made the four-hour trek both ways every weekend for ten years!
Finally after ten years, Martha and their three children received their papers to join Ezequiel in California. But with the high cost of living and inconsistent work, the family knew they couldn’t stay. Ezequiel’s brother lived in Bryan and told him about job opportunities here.
Soon the family was on its way to Texas. It was hard at first though, especially because of the weather and mosquitos. But eventually they adjusted, Ezequiel found steady work and life improved. The three kids, Saida (13), Ruth (12) and Ezequiel (11), settled into new schools and are now all students at SFA Middle School.
Though Texas is more affordable than California, decent affordable housing can still be hard to find. The family of five has lived in a small trailer home for the last five years. The trailer lacks adequate insulation, which means the summers are brutal and the winters are extremely cold. Ezequiel wanted to buy a better house for his family, but couldn’t afford it.
But now in the Habitat program, Ezequiel and Martha are going to have a decent home for their children soon. Ezequiel is already looking forward to receiving the keys to their future house and said that this will be the first time anyone in his entire family line will own a home. He can’t wait to show it to all of his extended family (more than 100 living in California). But most importantly, the new home will give his children a good place to grow up and they won’t have to be cold this winter or in future winters.