060816-1Substandard housing is something Esmeralda Guardado is all too familiar with. Growing up in Aguacalientes, Mexico she and her 14 siblings lived in a small three bedroom adobe house with blankets for doors in the restroom. Going to work at Sanderson Farms upon moving to Bryan, owning a home where her four older children can visit and her seven grandchildren can play is something she has dreamed of since moving to the United States in 2008.

Currently, Esmeralda and her two youngest children, 16- year old Carlos and  5-year old Karen, live in a small two bedroom, one bathroom apartment, where they have battled mildew and the smell of drainage for several years, with Esmeralda and Karen sharing a room. Despite these circumstances, the entire Guardado family, including Felipa de Jesus (28), Ana (27), Ivan (24), and Cristhian (19), makes time for each other, going to each other’s homes, eating and playing together as a family. Esmeralda enjoys watching her two grandsons and five granddaughters play when the family is together. Having enough space for her Karen and her grandchildren to play is something Esmeralda is looking forward to the most with homeownership.

When she moved to the United States 8 years ago, she envisioned a better life for her children, but the cost of a home seemed to put this dream out of reach, until she heard about  Habitat for Humanity on Radio Alegria.  Esmeralda went through the application process and describes the day she found out she was accepted as a Habitat partner family as an emotional day with tears, laughter, and disbelief; her dream of giving her family a home was coming true.

As a partner family, she needs to complete 500 hours of sweat equity, which includes attending financial planning classes, volunteering with other partner families, and working in the Habitat ReStore. Esmeralda has enjoyed  working on her sweat equity hours, getting to know other partner families, and soon to be neighbors. Her children are her ultimate motivators; she is doing this for them.

Esmeralda, Carlos and Karen  are grateful to their sponsors for helping them get ahead in life and for the ability to be able to build a place to call home.

To find out how you can help families like the Guardado family achieve their dream of home ownership, contact Director of Development, Carl Orozco, at 979-823-7200 x 104 or by e-mail at development@habitatbcs.org.