“Habitat for Humanity is an opportunity of hope, a relief, and a helping hand to the rescue of those in need.”
Denise Montanez and her son, Dylan, arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria has passed through and destroyed their island. Now, four years later, the family of two is finally getting the home they have always dreamt of. Denise considers herself to be a shy, but friendly person who is independent, loyal, loving, and sentimental. She loves to help others and make people laugh. “I love music, singing , going to the beach, especially those in Puerto Rico, spending it whit family and friends and above all things I love God.” Denise and Dylan are a family of two who compliment each other very well. They like to spend time together as a family by listening to music, going to the movies, watching YouTube, playing video games, and making meals together. “The best of all is that we support each other, help each other, and we speak to each other in a respectful tone. When we have a difference, we give each other space, then we speak and ask forgiveness.” Dylan is 13-years-old and has a wide variety of interests: music, piano and vocal lessons, drawing anime, animals, and he has expressed an interest in wanting to study law when he grows up. “He says that he is going to eradicate slavery around the world and that he is not going to charge to defend people,” his mother tells us. He also wants to learn archery and try out football, boxing, and karate.
After moving to Florida to start their new life after the hurricane, the family has experienced everything from living in their car, air conditioning issues, months of leaking water, fungus growing inside their apartment, shootings outside, smoke smell from neighbors inside their apartment, and packages being stolen. “Something that anguishes me is that my son cannot go out to play since the children here have thrown stones at his back,” Denise says. “I had to get some walkie-talkie so that he would let me know if he had arrived safely at his friend’s apartment when he was going to play there. The friend stopped talking to him because the children told her that if they saw her with Dylan they would hit her. He has not gone outside to play for more than two years.” Very soon, Dylan will be able to play in the street and his yard with the fellow Habitat children in his neighborhood without the fear of being hit with stones.
“The first thing I thought when I found out that we were accepted into the Habitat program was ‘now we can enjoy outside’. I felt happiness thinking that we are going to have freedom without anyone bothering my son, stones being thrown, insulted, being looked at, or rejected.” Denise is looking forward to her new home being safe, quiet, spacious, and comfortable.
Denis describes volunteering for Habitat as “the best gift you can give to a family and to them as human beings because it will take them to another level of understanding and empathy.” If you are interested in learning more about the volunteer opportunities our affiliate has to offer, please visit our Volunteer Page on our website for more information.
“Home is were my son and I are. A home of two very large in love and unity, we’re we enjoy our company and feel phenomenal just having each other.”