Local group builds home in Guatemala

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — A group from Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange traveled to Guatemala from March 3 to 11 with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program. The group included four graduates of OLS School: Conor McCarthy, Shane McCarthy, Daniel Rego and Daniella Simari. Barbara McCarthy, the school’s library media specialist, led the group, which also included four other parishioners and two of their friends. This year the group was fortunate to be sponsored by Benchmark Builders Inc., which helped cut down the group’s costs.

The group spent five days working on a house in the Usumatlan Colony in the Zacapa region of Guatemala. The before and after shots show how much progress they made on the home for a single mom, Barbara, and her 4-year-old son, Oscar.

The Usumatlan Colony has now been under construction for five years and will have a total of 90 homes completed by the end of this year. With the purchase of another plot of adjacent land, Habitat Guatemala hopes to expand the colony to 124 homes by 2020. The families are very proud of their new homes and one of the greatest joys for this year’s group was to see the houses they had worked on in previous years. Seven members of the team had participated in previous builds in Usumatlan.

Habitat’s Global Village Program operates in 90 countries around the world. Habitat Guatemala recently completed the 80,000th house in Guatemala and hopes to reach 100,000 by the year 2020. Worldwide, Habitat for Humanity has built more than one million homes since its inception in 1976.

On the way back to Guatemala City for their return journey, the group had the chance to climb Mt. Ipala, a dormant volcano with a crater lake at the top.

Photos Courtesy of Barbara McCarthy