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FOOD FOR THE POOR: Palm Beach Gardens Donor Provides Homes in Guatemala

Staff photographer/Food For The Poor
Flor and her daughter receive a safe and secure home

A Guatemalan family once beaten down by poverty and unimaginable living conditions has new hope for the future, thanks to a generous Food For The Poor donor thousands of miles away in South Florida.

Flor and her family were in dire need when a mission group from the charity met them in October.

They lived in two side-by-side dilapidated shacks with dirt floors. Whenever it rained, water poured through openings in the roof and walls, soaking their belongings and turning their floors to mud.

But earlier this month, they received the keys to their new homes.

“It is a big difference,” said Flor. “I can’t believe it. It is a dream that came true for us. I cannot pay you back. But I know God will repay you double that you gave me. Thank you very much. You changed my life.”

Caritas Arquidiocesana, one of Food For The Poor’s trusted partners in Guatemala, built the sturdy homes. Flor and her daughter live in one home; her parents and a brother and sister live in the other.

Each was built with concrete walls, cement floors and galvanized steel roofs. There are two bedrooms and a living area and a front door that locks. Sunlight streams through the jalousie-style windows.

Douglas Dobrinich, a donor from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., traveled with Food For The Poor to Guatemala in October 2018 and was touched after meeting Flor. It was his first mission with the charity.

“In the Bible, it says we are blessed so that we can bless others. You can’t go to a place like that and turn your back,” Dobrinich said.

The new homes are part of a larger community of 20 homes in Loma Larga, Guatemala, all funded by other donors who were on the same trip with Dobrinich. Additional phases will provide rainwater collection system to store water plus filtration systems capable of providing up to 10 gallons of clean water every day. The homes also will receive eco-stoves and sanitation.

Flor’s husband abandoned her and their daughter. But she works hard to provide what little she can for her daughter by selling used clothing and items on the streets of her community. She is proud she can send her daughter to school.

“Flor prays daily and is thankful for what she has,” Dobrinich said. “She, like every other parent just wants to make her daughter’s life better than her own.”

Food For The Poor began working in Guatemala in 1996. Since then, the charity has built 2,485 homes in the country, thanks to compassionate donors.

Food For The Poor Vice President Mark Khouri met Flor and her family while traveling with another mission group in September.

“Flor’s smile says it all. That’s what it’s all about – helping the least of our brothers and sisters,” Khouri said. “We’re very grateful for the support of donors like Douglas Dobrinich who provide the financial support to build these homes for families.”

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