The Paredes and Avila Family

For many of us, we count our life’s blessings on our hands. For Guillermina Paredes, she goes by headcount – five to be exact, one for each of her children.

Mother of three boys and two girls, Guillermina moved her family to Bloomington in 1999 from Izúcar de Matamoros, Mexico. When she relocated, keeping the family close together and tightly-knit was her first priority, and Guillermina speaks often of her “strong sense of pride” for her children: “They have a strong bond and are always there for one another,” she remarks.

However, while in search of more stability for her family, it didn’t take long to realize how difficult it was to find safe, affordable housing in Monroe County. Currently living with her sons Cristian and Diego (14 years old), Cristian’s son, Cristian Jr. (8 years old), and her grandson (and Cristian’s nephew) Alexander (14 years old), their overcrowded apartment is in need of repairs – water leaks have become habitual unwelcome house guests.

When Guillermina first heard about the Habitat homeownership program, she foresaw both the immediate safety and stability a home could provide, but also the long-term opportunities of homeownership: “[I applied] thinking of Cristian, so that he can have a better future and so all the boys will be able to have a house to come back to for whenever it’s time for them to go to college.” For the elder Cristian’s part, he says that owning a home is something he never thought possible, adding that “[homeownership] is something we might never achieve without the Habitat program.”

Both Guillermina and Cristian have enjoyed participating in homeownership classes, and have been hard at work completing their sweat equity at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

“Being part of the Habitat community is a very good opportunity and it’s an honor to be part of this organization,” Guillermina commented. “We can’t wait to have good neighbors and live in harmony with everyone in the community!”

Cristian and Guillermina’s home build is made possible by the Everesting Challenge initiative, the HOME program, First Financial Foundation, Jack Hopkins Social Services funding, Habitat for Humanity International, and support from our generous donors.