Building Hope

By Briana Forgie for Constru Casa

The images in this photo essay create the mosaic of poverty that is present in the lives of most Guatemalan families. Without the basic human needs of a home, medical services and education, the poverty continues from one generation to the next. Constru Casa was founded to address this cycle by adopting a proven model; family participation in the construction of homes and collaboration with local organizations and other NGO’s. Together they provide clean water and educational opportunities to the families. This holistic approach greatly increases the success rate of lasting change.

In addition, Constru Casa is exposing an internationally and socially diverse group of volunteers to the culture of poverty and the idea of philanthropy. Thus, Constru Casa’s programs promote a positive ripple affect; they are far-reaching and life changing.

My images have been used by Constru Casa for fundraising, communication with volunteers, and educating potential supporters and collaborating NGO’s. In addition, both Constru Casa and I have used the images in social media outlets to continue to raise awareness and donations. I have also shared my images at my home town schools and I am planning an exhibition in a local gallery. My hope is that these images will continue to aid Constru Casa’s important work.

I was inspired and humbled by Constru Casa and the Guatemala people as they create change one community at a time. It is a story of success that needs to be told.


Photographer: Briana Forgie / professional

Photographer Website:

Award Year: 2011

Non Profit: Constru Casa

Non Profit Website:

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