“Lucía Talavera” by Drew Estate Charities
Lucía Talavera is one of the many senior women living alone in the Oscar Gámez neighborhood. The little house where she used to live was made of rotten wood, cardboard and some old zinc sheets that didn’t protect her during the rainy season.
When TECHO came to see her to start the process of house assignment, she shared all the problems she’s been through when living in those situations; she had to move the bed several times at night because of the leaking water streaming on her face while sleeping, she was also physically sick and tired and that made her feel depressed about life.
Lucía changed her perspective when she met TECHO. One day, they came to her house and explained the process to her; she happily accepted the help and started working together with TECHO.
TECHO not only builds houses, they also create a bond with the community and a direct communication. They start to visit the family a month before, to get to know them more, and also provide education on how the family can save money in a creative way; when buying groceries, personal items, or basic utilities for the house. This is one of the main assets of this organization; they work hard to not only change “something” in people’s lives but create a beginning of something better in their lives. They like to motivate their will of change, to improve the quality of life of the people living in slums.
The day of the construction, Luz Marina, Lucía’s daughter, shared how difficult it was for her to see her mother living like she was, how difficult it was to see her being sick and not be able to help her more than providing her medication. She explained that the reason she was unable to help was because she was married to a man who lived far away from the city and she herself had three kids to feed. When she knew her mother was the beneficiary of a TECHO house, she came to see her mother and helped her with anything she needed. Luz also volunteered in the build.
During the construction weekend, everything went well, the volunteers got to know Lucia and Luz Marina, and they also shared the lunch Lucia made for them. They even took naps because of the amount of food she cooked to try to give them energy for the rest of the build.
Thankfully, the house was finished the next day without any small accidents or inconveniences, the volunteers had some extra time before the inauguration to play with the kids who always visit the area.
During the inauguration of the house, everyone was so excited for Lucía; she finally got a secure, dry and decent place to live. She shared her feelings towards the organization and all the people who came to help; she felt blessed about how accurate the time was when TECHO came to help her, when she most needed it. Also, all the volunteers said some motivational words for Lucia.
TECHO explained how important it is for them to be clear with the family, about the house not being a “gift” but a result of the hard work the family has been doing to change their situation. They remind them of all the little things they had done to save the money (Families pay 7% of the total cost of the house. Cost per house = $1,600 USD), all the sacrifices they made to be able to get their new house and encourage them to take care of it, to teach their children to do so as well, and also they also provide a manual on how to fix it if something gets damaged or if, in the future, they want to make improvements.
This is the foundation TECHO works under, building a free society which includes everyone, and working hard so everyone has the opportunities to fully exercise their rights. This is the main reason Drew Estate Charities has supported this cause since 2011, to bring change and hope to the community of Estelí in the Oscar Gámez neighborhood.
We believe that through the vision of a better Nicaragua, through hard work and the help of people who share this vision, we can change this reality.
Please consider donating if you have the means. Even the smallest donation is appreciated. Thank you from all of us at Drew Estate.