After 40 years, Dominga is Safe in Retirement

Perhaps one of the most basic needs is to live in a safe and secure home. Unfortunately, most recent numbers from Habitat for Humanity estimated that 1.6 billion people around the world live in "inadequate shelter".

But what does that mean? What does it look like? What are the contributing factors?

To answer these questions, we look to the remote, mountainous village of Los Robles, Nicaragua.

Dominga is a longtime resident here. She’s 77, a single mother, and now a grandmother.

Try to replace your own home, in your mind, with the place Dominga lived: the building you see above she built herself, 40 years ago, from wood and plastic.

It was “in horrible condition,” as she puts it — literally “falling in on top of me.”

Repeatedly flooding, soaking her clothing and everything else. She pleaded with the authorities, time and time again, to help her. She had no choice but to ask for help and live off the goodwill of others.

"For 21 years I have had these difficulties and as such we have lived with the difficulty of not having a home and having to live with the pounding of the rain and sun, with poor life conditions and insecurity. Despite the fact that I submitted requests with the municipality, they never responded to me. Esperança was the only one to respond to my difficulties and improve my living conditions."

After a lifetime of hard work — as a midwife, a baker, a poultry farmer, a cook — her vision was failing so badly that she could no longer see well enough to hold down any of her previous jobs. Her husband abandoned her and their children for another woman more than two decades ago.

But Dominga is a survivor, and after years of hard work and sacrifice, she is finally at peace.

New Construction & New Beginnings

Today Dominga has a good home. Finally. For herself and her orphaned grandson Luis, 25, who has mental disabilities.


Generous donations to Esperança provided our teams the resources they needed to go into Dominga’s community, assess the needs, and build her a new home. A decent place. A weather-tight space. A place where the rain and wind can’t relentlessly attack her and her family ... where she can be secure, and warm.

“I’m thankful,” Dominga says, tears in her eyes. “I still can’t believe it!”

She is still astonished to go through a week or a month without her clothes being soaked or her house being flooded. After 40 years of enduring the elements, she’s still adjusting.

Five new homes are standing today, thanks to the generousity supporters of Esperança. But we're not done yet.

Future Construction

But her good fortune ... the good fortune you helped bring to her ... is now being used to help others. Ask her how you can help her further, and she replies with three simple but power-packed words: “Help the community.”

Dominga is bringing a mandate to you and me. She is hoping and believing that we’re not finished in her town or the towns around her.

The reality is, multitudes across this country need help.The improvement of sanitation is a necessity felt deeply by the community. The construction of eco-friendly lavatories would be a supplemental this housing program and improve the health and quality of all families. 

For $750 you can build an eco-friendly lavatory for Dominga or for $5,000 an entire house for one of her neighbors in-need! Donate now to join the movement.