Categories: Family Stories

Habitat Tucson’s First Family

Throwback Thursday to Habitat Tucson's first homeowners: Ricardo and Paz Arinda Diaz!

When Ricardo and Paz Arinda Diaz emigrated from Chile to Tucson in 1979, they hoped for three things: a home of their own, good jobs, and education for their children.  And their Habitat house was the foundation for all those dreams coming true.

Soon after they arrived in Tucson, the family was encouraged by their pastor, Dr. George Tolman–one of Habitat for Humanity Tucson’s founders–to apply for ownership of the organization’s first house.

Construction of the house at 2505 South Plumer was completed in 1982 after eight months and 800 hours of Diaz’s sweat equity, which is more than triple the required hours of Habitat homebuyers. But it didn’t stop there! Diaz continued to donate more than 2,000 hours of labor and had a hand in helping to build Habitat Tucson’s first 9 homes, as well as serving on Habitat’s board.

“This house, I will never leave,” he says. “Too many memories.”

The Diaz children earned scholastic sweat equity, by completing their studies and graduating with degrees from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Tolman commended the Diaz family for their very real contribution, not only to Habitat for Humanity Tucson, but to the community as well.

"This home gave us the hope and the start in life we really needed," said Ricardo. "Our whole life changed, because of Habitat for Humanity. It meant peace."

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