Clara Apen, her husband Jose Perez and their family live in the town of San Antonio AguasCalientes in the department of Sacatepéquez.
They were one of the familieswe first helped in 2006, Constru Casa’s third year. The family of six feels so grateful to have a home to protect them from the elements, as well as areas for each member of the family to do their own work.
In addition to caring for the house and the children, Clara works as a weaver, making traditional Guatemalan trajes (clothes), such as the huipil (blouse), cortes (skirts) and faja (belt). The leak-proof tin roof of their house protects her weaving loom and her textiles. Her husband, Jose, builds caskets. He has his own workshop next to the house where he is able to work each day.
The family has four children, the oldest, Jessica Noemi, is 15. Jessica no longer studies, but works to help her family out financially. She has learned to weave, just like her mother.
The youngest and only boy, Brayan, is 7 years old and was in 1st grade this past year. Brayan’s favorite subject is math. The two middle girls are Cecelia del Carmen and Mercy Teresa. Cecelia del Carmen is 10 years old and was in the 4th grade this year. She also enjoys math and her dream job is to be a teacher. Mercy Teresa is 14 years old and repeated 5th grade this year, because she was unable to attend school in 2012. However, she loves to study and gets excellent grades, especially in her favorite class: social studies. Mercy has a big heart and wants to be a police woman when she gets older to help protect her community.
“We are so thankful for our house, and for our childrens’ opportunities to study. We would not have been able to afford to improve our house so greatly. Because of our house and the opportunities which have come with it, we know we can have a better future,” Clara said.
The family expressed the deepest gratitude to the invaluable changes the house has made in their lives.