Home reconstruction

Providing new, safe housing for 16 families in Guatemala

Housing & InfrastructureHousing & Infrastructure
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The Need

People living in poverty are the most vulnerable to the devastating effects of natural disasters. When Hurricanes Eta and Iota struck Guatemala in November 2020, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed, leaving many families displaced indefinitely. Heavy rains caused widespread flooding, damaging roads and bridges and leaving some communities completely isolated. It is estimated that the storms impacted more than 372,000 people, leaving nearly 16,000 living in temporary shelters because of damage to their homes.

Compassion Guatemala responded quickly to the crisis, delivering emergency food packs and funds for temporary housing to beneficiaries in the hardest hit areas, which included the departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Zacapa, El Progreso, El Quiché and Petén. However, some families had sustained more damage to their homes than what the emergency funding could cover. Nine of our church partners in the most impacted areas reported 16 families in dire of need of further assistance. Their homes had sustained major damage during Hurricane Eta and most were beyond the point of repair. With temporary funding for housing running out, these children and their families needed a safe place to call home, as soon as possible.

Our Response

Your gift enabled 16 families in Guatemala to rebuild their homes following damage incurred by Hurricane Eta. Two of the supported families were able to complete significant repairs to their existing homes, and 14 families built new homes. With the help of dedicated church leaders and staff, the work progressed quickly and did not encounter any significant delays. We are delighted to report that the homes are complete and that all 16 families have moved back in!

Between November and December 2021, churches purchased building materials and coordinated the delivery of materials to each building site. Families were so thankful for the materials and were eager and excited to get started. By January 2022, construction on the homes began. With members of the church pitching in to help, the work progressed quickly; by March, construction on each home had been completed. Families were thrilled to move into their new homes, which are sturdy and built to last. About 90 per cent of the total budget was spent on building materials, while the remaining 10 per cent covered transportation costs.


Delivering materials: Churches were responsible for purchasing and delivering materials like timber boards and sheets to each family’s building site. Families were so excited and grateful to receive the materials and begin building.

Temporary shelters: Some families were able to use emergency relief funds to create temporary shelters while they worked on rebuilding their homes.

New homes: Your gift helped 16 families construct new, sturdy homes in the wake of Hurricanes Eta and Iota. Church staff followed up with each family and visited their new homes after construction was complete.

Your Gift Provides...

With your support, we were able to help 16 families from nine churches in Guatemala rebuild their homes following Hurricane Eta:

• Building materials (eg, lumber, sheets, boards)
• Transportation and delivery

ReportA message from those your gift helped

This support was a great help to our family because our former home was at risk due to a landslide close to the house. Because of the change of place where we lived, we began life near the town. This help gave us new hope to continue improving our economic situation, because we now live closer to the village.

I have learned that God’s plans are perfect. Even when storms come, God’s hand is always in favour of His children.

With great joy, we receive this help. We are very grateful because there was a great need to rebuild our house and to be able to help our family. May God bless you and keep you at all times.

Selvin, beneficiary from GU0430

ReportThank you for your generosity

Safe shelter is an essential human need and impacts children’s well-being in a profound way. Thanks to you, 22 Compassion-assisted children from 16 families in Guatemala who were displaced during the tropical storms now have a safe and comfortable home. They and their families are so thrilled and grateful for your support, which has truly made all the difference during such a difficult time.

Children’s caregivers want you to know how thankful they are for your help. As parents, they want to provide for their children and were devastated to find themselves in such a desperate situation. You stepped in just at the right time, and their lives will never be the same. “This intervention support was a great blessing,” shares one mother, Guadalupe. “There were not enough resources to cover our household expenses. We thank the church and generous donors for their help in this intervention.” Another mother, Maria, shares her thanks: “We bless the lives of the donors for the support of funds during the time we lived through the Eta and Iota storms. We thank God for the funds He has given for my daughter. May God reward you greatly.” Many of these grateful families have joined their local churches, having experienced God’s tangible love in action.

As these families continue to rebuild their lives following the devastating storms, they can move forward knowing that God is with them and will always provide for them. Thank you for reaching out to show Christ’s love!

ReportA message from a centre director

This support was a great blessing for the families that were affected by the storm because they lost their belongings. Some had moved from one community to other places to take shelter from the torrential rains, and this intervention was able to provide the reconstruction of their homes to obtain stability for their families.

The local church was the one that provided moral and spiritual support, and thanks to this intervention, some families began to join the local church.

Through this intervention, we were able to see the needs and put into practice the service to others, especially to our participants.

There are no words to describe our gratitude for the support you have given to the families of our participants. Thanks for the support, and may God continue to bless your lives. We know that only our Heavenly Father can reward you for what you have given.

Cristobal, a Compassion centre director in Guatemala