Meet the Cabrera - Ugarte Family

At age 12, most children are about 4.92 feet tall. That’s the height of the Cabrera-Ugarte family’s current home: a mere 1.5 meters high, so this family of five must crouch to enter their home.

Ten years ago, Joseph and his wife Maria left their community in Sucre, Bolivia, in search of better opportunities. Their search has had little success, leaving the Cabreras without a steady income. At fifty-two years of age, Joseph has been unable to find a permanent job, only working as a bricklayer when the infrequent opportunity arises. Mary, is a homemaker, and cares for their children.

The walls of the family’s one-room house consist of tall, uneven sticks, stacked side-by-side and wrapped together with string. Their roof consists of cut branches that anchor a large plastic tarp. In the rainy season, water seeps through slits between the sticks, muddying the dirt floor and soaking almost all their belongings–so they leave as much as possible tucked away in tarp bags. There is no electricity or water.

Despite their hardships, adversity has united this family as they confront difficulties in their daily lives. A lack of furnishings doesn’t stop the Cabrera children from working hard: Santiago (13), Ines (10), and Martina (7) complete their schoolwork over small stones that act as tables. Their home remains full of love.

Joseph and Mary dream of a safe, secure home that would allow their kids to play and study comfortably. New Story would like to provide the Cabrera family a sturdy home with running water and electricity. We’ve partnered with The Fuller Center in Bolivia, an organization that has already built over 600 homes in the area. The Fuller Center is entirely staffed by local Bolivians, as the company is committed to building a sustainable socio-economic infrastructure. With your help, we firmly believe this house will improve the Cabrera’s life trajectory for generations to come.