The Saunders of Maine made a new home possible for a family in Yucatán. Photo: Kennebec Journal, with inset from the Dzul family

A Maine couple — and all the people they persuaded to open their purse strings — made it financially possible for a family in Tizimín to build a new home.

Molly and Steve Saunders met Antonia Dzul, a restaurant worker, as they were traveling across the Yucatán Peninsula.

The Saunders, a 70-something husband and wife who speak Spanish and are former Peace Corps volunteers, initially gave Dzul about $100 after reading an article in Diario de Yucatán about how she had been denied government assistance to replace her tar-paper roof.

Soon, though, the Wayne couple decided to go further by trying to raise $4,000 for a new home that Dzul’s parents and two school-age children could live in.

Now, the Saunders have raised twice that amount — $8,400 — both online and from Maine neighbors who wrote generous checks. Contractors have completed the construction of the Yucatecan family’s new cinder block home, the Dzul’s first with electricity and a bathroom.

“We are really appreciative of the donations,” Steve Saunders told the Kennebec Journal. “It was very moving, really. It’s about (building) connections.”

The Saunders are planning another trip to Mexico and want to visit the Dzul family again.

In an email to the Saunders, Dzul expressed her appreciation.

“Our house, which is also your house, is nearly finished,” she wrote. “We now have electricity in our new house and next week the doors and window will be delivered. Thank you all so much and may God bless you all forever!”

Source: Kennebac Journal


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