More than just numbers: Habitat Guatemala celebrates 50,000 families served

Habitat for Humanity Guatemala celebrates 50,000 families served since 1979, and launches its next challenge: serve an additional 50,000 over the next five years..

Guatemala, April 30, 2013. - On April 26, Habitat for Humanity Guatemala presented the Pensamiento family of Usumatlán, Zacapa, with keys to their new home. The Pensamientos would be the 50,000th family that the organization has served in the country since 1979.

Jorge Angel Pensamiento works in a factory as an electrician, his income too meager to improve his family’s housing situation. “We’d thought about building our own house, but would never have been able to save enough money to actually do it,” he says. Jorge and his family lived in a room his mother-in-law’s house, along with his wife, Yessica, and their two children, Gabriela and Arturo. Now, through the support of Habitat Guatemala, they are the proud owners of the organization’s “50,000th House”.

The celebration of Habitat for Humanity Guatemala’s 50,000th family served began months ago, spreading across the Republic through the organization’s regional affiliates, and concluding in Zacapa with a twenty-house blitz build (including the Pensamiento Family’s) that included hundreds of volunteers from Guatemala and other countries.

Among the week’s highlights was the construction of Sara Garcia’s house in a record time of 24 hours and 23 minutes. This house was named “50,001”, to represent Habitat for Humanity Guatemala’s next challenge: to build or improve 100,000 houses over the next five years, improving the quality of life for 100,000 families.

Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, was among the international guests gathered in Usumatlán for the occasion. It was Reckford’s second visit to the country; his first was for the organization’s “25,000th House” celebration in 2008. “It’s extraordinary that we are celebrating 50,000 houses just five years,” he said.

About Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Since 1979, Habitat for Humanity Guatemala has helped 300,000 Guatemalans to improve their housing situation. This has a positive and direct impact to the development of communities and, the life of the family, which is a partner in the construction of their new home.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit, or follow us at or at or join Habitat’s blog community at