Jun 16 2011

CFCA staffers in Guatemala share insights at team meeting

The Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala recently conducted a regional team meeting of representatives from each of the eight regions in CFCA-Guatemala.

FCA-Guatemala livelihood jam- and jelly-making project

CFCA scholars chop pineapples to make jam in a livelihood project in Guatemala.

During the three-day meeting, the teams visited several CFCA livelihood projects, including a jam- and jelly-making livelihood project operated by CFCA scholars and a chicken livelihood project operated by a mothers group.

The meeting’s objective is to share best practices and demonstrate for the other regions how the regional project is executing the sponsorship program with families.

“CFCA is here to be a support for the families,” said Brother Jorge Armas Montes, Hermano Pedro project coordinator. “These meetings are also an opportunity to learn about the efforts of sponsored families, which motivates us to continue to work more intensely, because we owe it to them.”

Alvaro Aguilar Aldana, Northeast regional coordinator, said the challenges facing sponsored members are great.

“Our communities are remote,” he said. “We want to share with everyone how we are walking with families and also how we are learning from them so that other regions may share this with their teams.”

Brother Jorge Armas

Brother Jorge Armas

Alvaro Aguilar Aldana

Alvaro Aguilar Aldana

Over the 16 years he’s worked with CFCA, Alvaro said, he’s witnessed the transformation of the teams as they exchange ideas.

“When I started in CFCA many of us did not know each other or how we worked with families,” he said. “Now it is wonderful to see us together, meet and engage in dialogue of learning through these meetings that lead us to grow.”

He’s seen the effects of these meetings in the field, too.

“Before when we arrived at the villages, children would take off running,” he said. “Now the people have learned to trust us, and they share a sense of community. This is what we want, and this is what CFCA wants to achieve.”

He’s also taken some personal lessons home from these meetings.

“We all feel like a single family, and I have learned about the admirable work of the [CFCA] social workers,” he said. “I have felt the presence of God in each of the people with whom we share.

“I have felt the call of the Lord to serve those who live in poverty and with all these people who have a desire for a better tomorrow and a healthier country.”

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