Provide Safe Housing in Santa Rosa

Your gift will build 80 sturdy cement-block homes

Nothing brings dignity to a poor family more than having a safe, sturdy home. Sadly, though, most poor families in Santa Rosa, Guatemala, live in unsafe, makeshift shanties made of mud, sticks, scraps of metal and plastic sheeting. These flimsy dwellings bake in the sun and leak like sieves when it rains — but there is hope on the horizon.

All they ask for is a little dignity

This fall, Cross Catholic Outreach is partnering with Father Raúl Monterroso and the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima to transform lives, and we are inviting you to join us. Your generous gift will help build 80 homes at $5,412 per home. In the video below, our president Jim Cavnar, explains the importance of building homes for the poor.

Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima

The headquarters for the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima is located in Cuilapa, about 40 miles southeast of Guatemala City. The city itself has a population of about 20,000 people and the department of Santa Rosa has a rural population of 441,032. The nation of Guatemala has 17,153,288 people, which makes it the most populous country in Central America. 

Extreme Poverty: 20.5% of the population lives in extreme poverty – less than $1/day.

59.3% of the population lives below the national poverty level of $2/day.

CIA World Factbook

Nicomedes del Cid and his wife, Angel, dream of the day that they will have a new home for their family.

Nicomedes Dreams

of a New Home

Nicomedes del Cid was fearful that a rainstorm would bring a torrent of water inside his flimsy, makeshift house. “And if the wind blows hard enough,” he says, “the roof would be lifted right off.” Sadly, this family’s situation is not unique. Small villages like this in Santa Rosa are filled with shanty houses and even more primitive shelters — little more than tarps over a framework of sticks. All these families have a shared dream — that one day they too may have a new home that will keep out the elements.

The Guatemalan government has enacted strict lockdown procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19. This has impacted the poor greatly.

José Prays for Deliverance

José Manuel Guerra is a lay Eucharistic minister and member of the People’s Holy Mission. José is well respected in the community. He is also very poor. It is heart-wrenching to hear how his children have suffered. Even still, he insisted that others in the parish were more deserving of help, telling Fr. Raúl over and over, “I’m not worthy of a new house!” What we saw proved otherwise. José’s house was falling apart at the seams.

José Guerra told Fr. Raúl that he wasn’t worthy of a new home.

80% of indigenous Guatemalans are living in poverty, compared to 40% of the nonindigenous.

Data from

Our Plan for Housing in Santa Rosa

Cross Catholic Outreach will transform lives by building safe homes and improving the spiritual lives of the community. This will ultimately lead to a better infrastructure, community solidarity and obedience to Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves.


These homes will feature a thick cement foundation, strong cement-block walls, and a metal roof that can withstand strong storms. Each home will be wired for electricity and will include a clean-air stove, a sanitary latrine and an exterior washbasin. For security, the homes have a set of sturdy lockable doors and windows and a covered porch to encourage fellowship.

Spiritual Formation

A new and improved home is a vessel for the Lord. Parish members are encouraged to open their homes to meet with neighbors, to enjoy fellowship and to read and discuss the Bible. Homes are important spiritual meeting places because many villages don’t have a chapel where the community can worship together. But you can change that for one village!

Safe Homes

A Plan to Restore Dignity

Lifting the poor out of poverty requires more than a quick fix. It requires a wise strategy that fosters community cooperation. The men, women and children help with the homebuilding process to the extent they are able, working alongside a skilled construction crew. Through this hands-on process, they develop a sense of pride in their home — while learning God cares about their needs, both material and spiritual.

Total homes: 80 new homes

Beneficiaries/Communities: 152 adults, 400 children. La 46, Plan del Amante, and Los Chilitos

Cost: New home – $5,412 per house

Materials: Concrete walls & floor; galvanized steel roof

Size: 338 square feet (comprising 3 rooms)

Features: Secure doors and windows, environmentally safe stove, wash basin, latrine, electrical wiring

Your generous gift will build 80 homes at a cost of $5,412 per home.


Our Ministry Partner

Drawing its name from the Latin word meaning “charity,” Caritas Santa Rosa and Cross Catholic Outreach team up to bless the poor with both physical and spiritual sustenance. Under the dedicated leadership of Fr. Raúl, Caritas has worked to restore hope through a wide range of outreach programs. In addition to home construction, their projects have included feeding programs, water projects, educational efforts and agricultural support.

The Role of the

People’s Holy Mission

Today, the People’s Holy Mission is a key component to the overall Caritas mission as it spreads the word of God into the community. The mission encourages members to meet weekly in the house of a lay Catholic leader. At these meetings, members enjoy fellowship, read and discuss the Bible, pray, worship and strategize about ways to minister to their local community. The mission also sponsors training sessions and retreats for missionary groups, lay catechists and ministers.

Sketch of the Chapel
This is a sketch of the chapel that will be built in the village of Piedras de Agua.

A Place to Gather

The people of Santa Rosa have a deep faith. In fact, many villagers walk great distances so they can worship together.

We want to provide the blessing of a chapel to the village of Piedras de Agua and the families living in that community. Piedras de Agua currently has no chapel, so if these villagers want to pray together, hold Mass, or celebrate baptisms, weddings or other sacraments, they have no formal place to gather.

Transforming Lives in Santa Rosa

The relationship between Cross Catholic Outreach, Fr. Raúl and Caritas Santa Rosa has been long and fruitful. The relationship began in 2015, when the people in the diocese were struggling under a heavy burden of poverty. Finding it almost impossible for them to improve their lives, they looked to the Church and to Cross Catholic Outreach to move forward with a holistic outreach that would build a new school, construct homes for needy families, provide safe water and support farmers eager to learn new ways to improve their crop yield. Over the years, you have helped Fr. Raúl empower the Church in an incredible way, defeating poverty and bringing people into a closer relationship with Christ.


This program helps equip farmers with the supplies and training they need in order to improve their yields. In recent years, many farmers have not only put food on the table, but also had money left over to spend on doctor’s appointments,  medicines, and education for their children.


For years, Cross Catholic Outreach sponsored scholarships for children who attended public school. Although the pandemic has slowed down construction, the diocese is on verge of opening a new Catholic primary and secondary school — which will transform education throughout the diocese.


Over the years, thousands of needy families have been blessed with durable concrete homes. Each new home includes a metal roof and lockable doors, as well as electrical wiring, an outdoor latrine and a clean-burning stove.


Fr. Raúl has worked hard to solve the water problems that have long afflicted the villages in Santa Rosa. To date, thousands of families now receive clean running water in their homes — and hundreds more are on the verge of receiving the same blessing.

Transform even more lives with your gift.

Give Generously

Now is your chance to transform lives!

Whatever amount the Lord places on your heart, we want to offer even more ways to give.

House on a Rock Sponsor

$21,648 builds 4 homes for families in need.

HOUSE ON A ROCK SPONSOR   –  $21,648 builds 4 homes for families in need.

Precious Cornerstone Sponsor

$10,824 builds 2 homes for families in need.

PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE SPONSOR   –  $10,824 builds 2 homes for families in need.

Peaceful Dwelling Sponsor

$5,412 builds 1 home for a family in need.

PEACEFUL DWELLING SPONSOR –  $5,412 builds 1 home for a family in need.

Sure Foundation Sponsor

$2,706 joins with another generous friend to build a home.

SURE FOUNDATION SPONSOR   –  $2,706 joins with another generous friend to build a home.

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Cross Catholic Outreach

Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.

Get the latest news and updates on how we’re transforming the poor and their communities.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.