Emelina Matute – Drew Estate Charities

Emelina lives with her daughter Dominga and her two sons, Isidro and Rene; although they are all adults she needs to take care of them like children –they are sick, they can’t talk and one of them can’t walk. She also takes care of her 97 years old father. Her husband, Carlos, only visits them on weekends due to his job is far away.

Emelina shared her story and her experience with TECHO:

“One day TECHO came to my house and explained about what they were doing in the neighborhood, they asked me if we could accept the house and I told them ‘Yes’, I took all the responsibility; my father couldn’t talk because he had an accident, he fell and for a long time he wasn’t able to move or talk, now he can walk on crutches at least.

Emelina 2

My father is the actual owner of the property but I’ve been living with him since a long time ago; I’m responsible of paying the bills, water, electricity and the food.

The old house we had was made of wood and plastic, but the wood was very old and in bad conditions.

TECHO came a lot of times, they wanted to know about our situation and help us, those guys are very good people. They asked about who would respond for the payment, I told them the same, I was going to look for the money.

They also explained about assisting to the workshops they do, but I told them I couldn’t leave the house because I was taking care of these children and my father, they told me not to worry, and they could always come here to do the workshops with me. I was very happy! We talked about what I do to make money and how much it was, so they explained how I could do to save money.


I sell Ocote (Small bunches of wood) every day, I walk around the city, or when someone in particular request it. You know, is difficult, as I’m the responsible for my father and these two children of mine who are grownups but they are like children, they behave like it. One of my neighbors Don Chico, told me to work hard for this opportunity, that I had to work hard to get the money but it was all going to worth it.

To collect all the money for the payment of the house I had to sell a pig I was fatting up. The rest of the money I got it with the profits of the wood, thanks God I got the money ready on time.

Our house was one of the first ones; it was built on July 18th of 2011. It was a very special day. We had a lot of people helping to build it, even Americans and people from Drew Estate Tobacco Factory. I made the lunch for them and they were very nice with us. I’ll never forget those days.

The day I got my new house I felt great! I didn’t have my own house until that day, what I had was not a house. That house had water leaking everywhere, every raining season was worst, the house was falling down and all the wood was rotten. And also, it was not secure, I was always afraid to leave this place alone, a lot of times people robbed the few stuff we had. Now is different, this one has a good door I can lock it and go around the town to sell my wood with no worries.

Emelina y Dominga

I give thanks to God first and then to the good people who thinks about us. I didn’t even think about someday having anything better than that; we were in a really bad situation. It was all a surprise because one day, I had all those kids in front of my house wanting to help us. I’m so thankful! I still have a promise to thank God for his blessings, I want to have a special devotion in this house – with my family and friends, and I know I will do it one day.”

Please consider donating if you have the means. Even the smallest donation is appreciated. Thank you from all of us at Drew Estate.


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