Meet Benito & Hortencia's family.
When asked about their Habitat home, husband and wife Benito and Hortencia light up with a smile.
Originally from Queretaro, Mexico, Benito grew up taking care of sheep, cows and horses. As he grew older, Benito sold charcoal to help support his parents.
“We did not have much clothes, food… (our) shoes had holes,” Benito explained.
After his dad moved to the United States, Benito worked hard to get a job in Texas that would provide for his family. Benito, Hortencia and their two young children currently live in San Antonio to be close to Benito’s family.
Benito and Hortencia’s story together began at a young age.
“We met when we were very young,” Benito said. “On the day of her quinceañera, I danced with her because I knew she liked me,” Benito laughed.
“Time went by and we separated and I came to America for work. We found our way back to each other and to this date we are together.”
“I moved to San Antonio to be closer to my family. This is why I live in San Antonio and not New Braunfels,” Benito said.
Hortencia, a stay-at-home mom for their children, manages the day-to-day activities of their family.
“We have two kids. They are very intelligent,” Hortencia said. “A boy and a girl. She is very active, and he is very shy. They are good kids.”
Benito also has two children from a previous marriage that live in Austin – a 15 year old son named Fernando and 14 year old daughter named Iliana. Moving to New Braunfels will allow for more opportunities for Benito’s children to be able to visit and greatly shorten the commute their family currently faces from Austin to San Antonio.
Benito has worked as a Day Cook at the local New Braunfels restaurant McAdoo’s for the past 10 years. Commuting back and forth from San Antonio is tiring for him, but his love for his family keeps him motivated.
“When I get home, I’m tired. But my kids run up to me and hug and kiss me and that makes me very happy,” Benito said. “I miss all my kids all the time. I am very thankful for my family. We (Hortencia and I) haven’t struggled (in our relationship) because my wife and I have strong communication with each other. It’s something we know is important in a marriage and in our home.”
“To build a home you have to have a strong foundation,” Benito added. “If your foundation is good your home will be good.”
Benito, Hortencia and their family are thankful for each other and the home they rent in a trailer park in San Antonio now, but they aren’t without daily challenges and struggles in their current living situation.
“The man (their landlord) doesn’t want us to have certain things,” Hortencia said. “(He) doesn’t want the kids to play outside with water. We have a lot of restrictions because it’s not our home. We can’t do much in our house.”
“In the house we tend to get spiders and can’t do much to take care of that,” Hortencia added. “We aren’t able to do things we feel is best at times.”
In addition to the spiders, their mobile home contains unstable flooring and holes big enough for snakes to get through.
When asked about their future Habitat home, Benito and Hortencia both talk about feeling comfort, security, and happiness.
“We talk to our kids about the process. They are very happy. Very excited. They have an illusion of our home,” Hortencia said.
“In the house we are in right now, we are renting,” Benito said. “We hope to have our very own home very soon. It will be a payment (we’re) making but it’s different than just renting and feeling like rent is money going to waste… I will finish paying it. My kids will have a better future. If I pass, it will go to my kids. It’s something with more security... making things more comfortable for us. It will be a great relief to have our own home.”
Construction on Benito and Hortencia’s family home is scheduled to begin in Spring of 2020. To help build their home, click here to volunteer.