Houses and living

In the beginning of August 2007 I executed a small research in houses and living. For a start I asked some friends of Rupalaj 'Kistalin (with whom I was working) if I could visit there houses to learn how they live. Immediately they were enthusiastic and I was warmly invited.

I did not talk about the Hi2U with my informants and wanted a general image of there habitat. I also insisted that they should not clean up the house before I would come. They didn't.

In total I visited eleven houses. Some more detailed than others. In all cases the informants overloaded me with thanks. Although I clearly explained that I can not help them now, nor with goods. Maybe on a design level in the future, the foto's are just to know how they live. I think they understood it a little bit.

About Guatemala. The most important thing in life of a Guatamalan citizen is the family and especially children. Children are honored, treated well and more than once spoiled. Not having children must be seen as a suffering and not much as a shame. Next to that comes God. There are two options: the more symbolic focused Catholicism and the more spiritual focused Pentecostalism. Not believing in God is rare, and the generally the two interpretations of faith coexist in a peaceful way.

About San Juan. Although poverty does certainly exist, it's one of the more wealthy villages around Lake Atitlán. Housing conditions of my friends, that I already know for some time, however were much impoverished than I expected. I think that they make a living of somewhere between $1 and $2 dollar a day. A very rough and debatable indicator, some clearly had financial difficulties in maintaining there house.

One special thing about San Juan is that the beauty of the house is on the outside. Many houses have beautiful murals coming from a strong painters tradition. Inside houses are more functional than beautiful.

In this overview I will describe the house by the following categories that are of interest to Demotech:

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