Pablo and Claire emigrated from Colombia to Canada seven years ago. Although the adjustment to Canadian life was challenging for the family (especially those -40 winter days!), they are proud to have settled in Ottawa to build a better future for their family. Pablo works as an administrative agent for the CISSSO Gatineau Hospital and his wife Claire works in maintenance.
Juan Estaban, the couple’s 15-year-old son, is active with the Cadets and loves to play basketball in his free time. Santiago, 6, loves to play and is excited to finally have some outdoor space to run around and meet other children.
The family is currently living in an unsafe neighborhood with a high crime rate. After a violent crime in an adjacent building, they knew it was crucial for them to find a safer environment for their children to grow up in.
What the family is most looking forward to is the stability that comes with being a Habitat homeowner. “We have moved four times since moving to Canada, and because of that, our children have had to switch schools many times,” says Claire. “This hasn’t helped our youngest son Santiago, who is having issues with language. Having a stable home means that he won’t have to change schools anymore and will gain confidence in his abilities.”
Pablo and Claire are also excited to see their sons grow up in a neighborhood of Habitat homeowners, and see their new community as a big family. “We are so happy to have an affordable home and share our neighborhood with other good, hardworking families. We are proud that our sons will grow up alongside the other children in this development and that they will feel a sense of community and collaboration,” says Pablo.
“Trust me, this is our dream and we still can’t believe it is real,” says Pablo. “To be safe in our own home is a feeling that we just can’t explain, it’s simply incredible.”
The family has completed their 500 volunteer hours and is looking forward to moving into a home at Leacross Landing later this year.