21 July, 2018

The challenges for a single parent raising a child


The challenges for a single parent raising a child are enormous. The difficulties multiply when there is not one but three children and a lack of money hampers your ability to access safe housing. This was the case for Jose Estévez as he witnessed his once stable home and healthy marriage dissolve.


The Estévez family was leading a promising life in Guadalajara, Mexico, but shortly after the birth of Tristan, their middle child, José’s then-wife began to distance herself and gradually cut herself off from the family. José was forced to become the sole provider and caretaker for their two boys.


In an attempt to save the relationship, José sold all that he had in Guadalajara and moved the family to Veracruz, where his wife grew up. He began working in construction and achieved modest success that allowed him to provide an apartment for his wife, kids, and mother-in-law.


After the birth of their daughter Vania, the situation turned irreparable. José gradually began to suspect that his wife abused his children while he was away. One day, after coming home from work, he found his children in such a state of abandonment and vulnerability that he decided immediately to move his family out of the state for good. He bought bus tickets to Jalisco for the next weekend, packed up, and started from scratch for the third time. Over time, José would learn more details of the violence his children suffered at the hands of their mother back in Veracruz.

The family arrived in Jalisco with very few possessions. The only house they could afford was nine square meters and had no access to water or electricity.


Fortunately, TECHO heard about José’s story and in April of 2014, with the help of volunteers, built his family a new home. While they still face many challenges, he no longer has to worry about the uncertainty of providing stable housing.

It’s been nearly a year since they returned to Jalisco and José can’t tell his story without getting emotional. He is a hardworking father who has been dealt a bad hand, but he has a new beginning. He, José Alexander, Tristan, and Vania can now count on the safety of a sturdy home.