The Socorec family home was completed Saturday. There was a very moving ceremony to hand over the keys to Vicenta and the community joined in the celebration. The living structure itself is nothing that we would consider luxurious by our standards, but to them it is more than they could hope for– clean running water, (a spigot in the front room and a full sink in the back, as well as a toilet and shower!) full electric with a light and outlet in each room, and metal locking doors for piece of mind. It was a very joyful and emotional occasion. A neighbor or two were jealous and displayed their contempt by tossing rocks on the tin roof in an attempt to take away from the moment. To no avail, I might add. For Vicenta and her family it’s a new life, and I can say the same for me– being involved in this incredible experience has changed my heart and given me a new outlook on life.
You do see people taking pride here in Guatemala. Yeah, for a lot of them it’s all they can do to survive, but you do see glimpses where people make real efforts to beautify their little piece of the world– like this home/shop made of corrugated tin panels that was painted shades of blue, and kept very clean in comparison to what else is around. Can you imagine this being home sweet home? I have to tell you, this is pretty good for dump standards. There is much, much worse here.
My good friend Eric shared his thoughts on today and I think they are great– very succinct and honest. If it were me describing our first day working with the people who eek out a living in the stench and filth of the dump– it would read like War and Peace. Long.
We thought this was going to be the only beautiful thing in Guatemala and for the first 8 hours we were right.