I realized how fortunate I am and growing up. I will remember a neighbor who received a house from Taos habitat for humanity thanking me for coming out and helping and that our help goes further then we think. It was just incredible to help make an impact...To explore a different community and also have the ability to help contribute in making a difference in someone’s life"
The wonderful people impacted by our volunteerism truly motivated me...I learned so much about building a home as well as valuable life lessons from experienced individuals who quickly became friends. It meant so much to me to see such a well deserving family have a forever home. My time in Taos is something I will never forget. I am so thankful for the experience. Everyone was so nice and made myself and my team feel right at home"
It is such an honor to be a recipient of a Habitat house, I have gained so much confidence becoming a homeowner. I also learned so many valuable lessons on the job site and take lots of pride in the work in did on my forever home. My kids and I will never forget the impact this has made on our lives!"
Anonymous, Survey 2019
Jake, Survey 2019
Partner Family #33
Laura Serpa and Terry Pavlis moved to Taos from El Paso Texas in 2019. They continued to work at the University of Texas at El Paso as Geoscience professors until September 2021 when they officially retired from the university. In Taos, they are working on renovating and landscaping their home, exploring the geology of northern New Mexico, and continuing to pursue their research interests in a wonderful environment. Laura grew up in Idaho and Terry in South Dakota and they met in graduate school in Utah. They lived in New Orleans for 21 years, working as professors at the University of New Orleans until their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina they moved to a drier climate (El Paso) where they continued their careers as professors. They have traveled all over the world as part of their research careers, but always had an interest in home construction, having renovated three houses and built a house in the Caribbean. Their interests in home building made volunteering with Habitat for Humanity a logical choice but that interest was also shaped by their experiences with Hurricane Katrina when they and many of their students and friends suffered major issues with homelessness and lack of resources after the hurricane. Although retired from teaching, both have a continued interest in geoscience research and they have an active National Science Foundation Project using drones and imagery from aircraft to develop 3D geologic models. Laura is particularly interested in improving science education and computer programming. Terry continues to study geology, including near Taos, and continues to spend time writing scientific papers about his research. Laura and Terry started volunteering with Taos Habitat in May 2021; they both played a big role in opening the Southside ReStore location, they showed up every time we needed help. Laura continues to volunteer multiple times a week at the ReStore focusing most of her attention on the clothes section. Terry has put his skills to good use at the jobsite working on the construction of 2 of our 3 current homes. To date, the Palvis’ have put in around 300 volunteer hours!