The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus conduct the Senior Citizen Care Program in Zone 6 of Guatemala City. As part of this program, Sister Laudir Crócoli visits homes and offers senior citizens spiritual accompaniment. During one of these visits in December 2017, she found very precarious housing conditions. She noticed that the heat and cold were affecting the health of an elderly woman in a sheet metal home lacking any insulation. She found a safe and ecological answer to meet this need.
To do this, milk cartons are collected, opened, and cleaned, before attaching them to each other using thread taken from sacks of flour. They are then installed on the roof with wooden support beams that hold them up.
This effort was possible thanks to other members of the Senior Citizen Program, young people, women, and neighbors from the area. Approximately 200 people were involved in the project. A total of 214 milk cartons were received during the first collection, making it possible to create a first false ceiling.
The big takeaway from this project is that once the need to improve the living conditions of one member of the Senior Citizen Program was identified, various members – not just of her community, but also from other neighborhoods– pitched in to collect the materials that were needed. These actions resulted in interrelation and solidarity among neighbors, environmental awareness, improved living conditions, and proof that there are other ways to improve the quality of life while at the same time taking care of one’s own home as well as the community.