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A Habitat Volunteer Trip Experience

By Natalie Martinez, a Habitat Global Village volunteer, real estate agent and registered architect

My mother was a single parent, at times struggling to make ends meet. Like Habitat families, she had a deep desire to improve her life situation for herself and her children and a willingness to make a home for herself, however modest it might have seemed to others.

One of my vivid childhood memories is watching her demolish a wall in our 715-square-foot home with a sledgehammer. She wanted to remove the wall to make the dining room bigger. With every swing, I watched her become more empowered...

Natalie Martinez, center, with her Habitat Global Village volunteer team in Guatemala

Looking back, this was a pivotal moment for me. I watched a woman taking action on her desire to change her life for the better...

I began to understand that when we have a home, we start to own our personal stories and write our own futures...

When I learned about an opportunity to build in Guatemala through one of Habitat’s Global Village volunteer trips, it seemed like the perfect fit that brought together my personal and professional interests.

I'm looking forward to the next Global Village trip so that I can enlist even more people to join me on this deeply rewarding home-building journey. I like that with every house I design or build, I’m a part of someone else’s story of success.


Interested in traveling with Habitat to work alongside a family building or improving a place they can call home?

Learn more about their Global Village volunteer trips.

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