Delivering food, shelter and hope to the poorest of the poor.
A woman holding her child, laughing.

Where: Guatemala

Safe Homes in Guatemala

$8,434 will build a new home.


As we anticipate the joy of families going home for Christmas, let’s remember those who lack the comforts of a safe, secure home.

Even today, many Guatemalan families are forced to live in shelters fashioned from mud, scraps of wood and plastic sheeting. Your gift can help provide a new home that includes a cement foundation and cement-block walls that can withstand earthquakes. Each home will be wired for electricity and will include a sanitary latrine and an exterior washbasin.

This year, two generous donors have given $32,000 in challenge gifts to inspire fellow Catholics to answer these families’ desperate need. Your gift, combined with theirs, will have double the impact!

*Until midnight on December 31, two donors’ challenge gifts will be used to double all donations up to a total of $32,000 for Safe Homes in Guatemala in the Christmas Catalog.

Guatemala's Housing Crisis

Rural Families Long for Peace and Safety

Nearly 60% of Guatemala’s population lives in poverty, with one in four people earning less than $3.20 a day (CIA World Factbook, The World Bank). More than half of the nation’s people live in rural areas, which often lack access to basic infrastructure. Under these circumstances, the poorest families can only afford to build small mud-floor shelters. Their fragile dwellings leave them vulnerable to bad weather, vermin and intruders; and children and the elderly frequently fall ill.

Give now to bless families in Guatemala with greater security, improved health and a tangible reminder of God’s love.

The Homes You’ll Provide

With your help, two Guatemalan Catholic dioceses (Santa Rosa de Lima and Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu) will bless struggling families with the life-changing and dignity-affirming gift of safe, sturdy homes. A typical house will feature:

  • A 338 sq. ft. floor plan with three rooms.
  • Concrete walls and flooring.
  • A galvanized steel roof.
  • A secure metal door and shuttered windows.
  • A water storage tank.
  • A sanitary latrine to promote hygiene and dignity.

Milvia’s New Home

You can create blessings like the one experienced by Milvia Usleni Escobar Ordoñez, a devout Catholic who serves in the ministry of liturgy in her Guatemalan parish.

Milvia grew up in a loving, God-fearing family, but her household was plagued by the never-ending challenges of extreme poverty. She struggled in school, failing third grade, but she eventually pushed onward to graduate from primary school and continue into secondary-level classes. At age 14, Milvia’s father became chronically ill, and she had to begin working to help support her family.

Milvia’s old home was unsafe to live in.
Milvia’s old home was unsafe to live in.

At 24, Milvia chose life and gave birth to Eugenia Anahí Escobar Ordoñez. Since then, Milvia has faced many challenges of single motherhood, one of which was her house. Its floor was just a flat patch of open ground, and its rusty sheet metal walls were unstable — likely to blow apart in any significant storm.

Now, thanks to our generous benefactors, Milvia has a quality home with a solid cement floor and enjoys a level of security and privacy she has never known before. She will now be able to raise her daughter in a safe, sturdy house. This blessing has inspired her to have a deeper involvement in church life, and she never stops thanking God or urging others to follow Jesus.

Now Milvia has a sturdy, dignified home in which to raise raise her daughter, Eugenia.
Now Milvia has a sturdy, dignified home in which to raise raise her daughter, Eugenia.

Related Christmas Catalog Items

Share the Christmas Catalog

Frequently Asked Questions

The Cross Catholic Outreach Christmas Catalog makes it fun and easy to extend the joy of Christmas to the poor. Instead of being filled with retail items, the catalog contains meaningful gifts for some of the world’s most impoverished families. Some gifts are lifesaving items such as Food or Hygiene Products, while others are large projects such as Safe Homes or Clean Water. All gifts are sent on your behalf to grateful families in developing countries.

It’s easy to shop through the Cross Catholic Outreach Christmas Catalog. Simply browse through the categories and choose an item within your budget and close to your heart, such as Women-Owned Farms in Haiti or Powdered Milk for Children. Select and sponsor one or more of these gifts, and you’ll make a meaningful impact on the life of a needy child or family overseas. It’s that simple!

Blessing the poor happens year-round. Some gifts in our Christmas Catalog are sourced locally, so there is no need to worry about international shipping. For items that require shipping, Cross Catholic Outreach works with partners in every country we serve to ensure Christmas Catalog gifts are delivered in a timely fashion.

Yes! Making a gift in honor of a friend or family member is a fun and easy way to share Christmas joy. Once you complete the checkout process, let them know by sending a printed certificate or e-Card.

Donations from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures for the Christmas Catalog 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.