Earlier this month, a six-person team from Larken Associates, a regional leader in real estate building, development and management, returned from a volunteer trip to Guatemala as a part of their ongoing relationship with From Houses to Homes, a Guatemalan-based organization providing sustainable housing and education to some of the poorest communities in the country.
In a region where many families live in makeshift homes that are constructed of cornstalks or corrugated metal with dirt floors, the grassroots organization, based in Mt. Tabor, NJ, has built over 1800 homes. From Houses to Homes also strives to provide education to their families and built the Escuela Kemna'oj, a pre-K through 9th-grade school that has a current enrollment of 175 children. Most of these students have parents who were never educated and can neither read nor write.
Recognizing the organization’s vital work, Larken Associates has provided financial support to From Houses to Homes for over a decade. President and CEO David Gardner has personally traveled to Guatemala 13 times to build homes in the communities. In 2019, Gardner expanded his own mission and decided to send two volunteer teams of Larken Associates employees to build two homes for indigenous families in the highlands.
The company’s return to Guatemala this year, after a forced pandemic break, saw its volunteer team construct a home over a five-day period, while additionally delivering much-needed food and supplies to families.
“While we have been grateful to support From Houses to Homes over the last several years from afar, our team was happy to return to Guatemala to get down to work,” said David Gardner, President and CEO of Larken Associates. “We look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with From Houses to Homes and raise awareness of their life-changing work.”
Jillian Dorell, Design/Construction Project Manager at Larken Associates and volunteer team leader added, “In the United States, it is easy to take the idea of home for granted. Unfortunately, for far too many families in Guatemala, a safe and comfortable home is a luxury not enjoyed by many. While this was a deeply humbling experience, we are proud of our work to help a family finally have a home.”
To learn more about From Houses to Homes and how you can make a donation or help, please visit their website at https://www.fromhousestohomes.org/.
About Larken Associates
Larken Associates is a regional leader in commercial and residential real estate building, development and management. Leveraging over 50 years of experience, they are dedicated to bringing great spaces to live and work to life through a long-term ownership strategy and full suite of in-house capabilities. With a diverse commercial portfolio consisting of nearly three million square feet and 800 tenants across office, industrial, retail and mixed-use and approximately 2,000 owned and/or managed residential rental units across 22 unique communities, Larken Associates is deeply committed to the communities in which they work as well as the tenants and residents who call their buildings home. To learn more about Larken Associates, please visit us at https://www.larkenassociates.com/ and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.