Life in Guatemala: Mayan home build

I couldn’t believe how quickly the trip was going by. 

I had barely slept so far on the trip, because I wanted to soak up as much of the little country as I possibly could.

This morning was no exception. Waking at 5:45 am, I quickly threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera, and met Saul and Luke on the rooftop. 

Unfortunately we were a little late on seeing the moment of sunrise, but we weren’t too late to witness a beautiful cloudy morning. 


Back inside, we fueled up with yet another fantastic chef’s breakfast menu at our hotel in Tecpan. 

It was the last home build day, the fourth home built by OHP during the trip, and my third home build! 

I was anxious to head up to the Mayan village, Xepac where the Tzian family lived. The drive was trecherous on the vehicles, with steep mountain inclines and valleys, and loosely paved gravel roads. The view however, was spectacular!! 


Upon arrival, we were greeted by the husband, Gustavo who led us to the build site. He informed us that their house had blown away earlier this week, and they had to stay with Gilia’s father while they awaited our arrival.

Sure enough, as we were laying new metal down and unloading the build supplies, I saw a pile of old rusted out metal pieces – what was left of their house. 

Thankful that we were there, and ready to help himself, Gustavo stayed close as we started the build. We handed him a drill, and he jumped right in, very happy to help. 

Even his wife, Gilia, was so excited she helped hold a wall up as we got the cross beams into place! Their son, Elmer, 5, stayed close to his father, watching and learning how his father used the power tools. 


Once the supports were in place, Gilia stepped away to work on her Mayan craft, cloth weaving, with her mother. She informed us that it takes about 10 months to complete a traditional Mayan top, and it sells for ~ $80 USD. 

It was mesmerizing to watch how skilled these two were at their trade. (Watch for the video coming soon on my Facebook page!) 


Focusing back on the home build, I helped Luke heave the metal up onto the roof, sheet by sheet. These home builds were proving to be a good workout for me, and everyone participating! 

While Saul prepped the paint, I attached the windows and adhered the glass inserts. As soon as Saul finished painting, Marcus and Luke jumped in to set the stove up. 

About 6 hours after having arrived, we were done: the house was complete! 

The family excitedly checked it out, and I caught this candid moment.


I hadn’t yet asked to take a picture with a family, and with it being the last day home building, I seized my chance. For reference, I’m only 5’2″ and weight 115. 


We gathered in the home, surrounding the family to pray. Even Gilia’s mother came in to pray for the family! That was HUGE! Tears trickled down Gilia’s cheeks, and shortly after Gustavo was teary eyed as well. He was so thankful to us, and to God for providing his family a safe house. 

We packed up the supplies and were off. Our departure was not without excitement though. A low hanging electric wire caught on the truck, and sparks flew!! Saul quickly reversed and waited for a man to remove the wire with a branch. 

Safely back at the hotel, we gathered for a fabulous dinner prepared by the hotel chef, and planned our next day, which would take us to lake Atitlan.  

What a day it was. A great memory to last a lifetime. 

~  ???? @lifeofmalware

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