Apr 17 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to Guatemala

Mission awareness trip to Guatemala
Mar. 14 ñ 21, 2009

Our special call
Sometimes in the daily work of creating communities of compassion, it takes a lot of faith. Even in our best efforts of faith-based service, human weaknesses make felt their sobering presence. This is the precious moment when the grace of our special call kicks in.

Almost 100,000 families invite us to walk with them in Guatemala. Sponsors want to see them and to learn about the reality in which their friends live. This reality is best communicated by the families themselves and by our Guatemalan staff who daily walk by their side.

Ribbon cutting

A mother signs a loan document for a livelihood sewing project.

A mother signs a loan document for a livelihood sewing project.

Sunday morning found us at our headquarters in Mixco, a regional office serving about 6,500 families. Big on the agenda today is the ribbon cutting for a livelihood sewing project involving 10 mothers. With the sponsors as witnesses, the mothers signed the documents for their first loan. Their spirit, exhibited in a skit about feelings, augurs well for the future of this project.

Cuyotenango
It seems like all 1,200 families welcomed us to the CFCA center in Cuyotenango. We work in 18 communities of Cuyo. In this southern region of Guatemala, we have 8,990 sponsored children, 43 elderly, one seminarian and scholarship students.

A junior mariachi band welcomes sponsors.

A junior mariachi band welcomes sponsors.

We traveled a muddy road through the sugarcane fields to visit the community of Shacate with 55 CFCA families. Sponsors helped in the distribution and documentation of food. One of the little boys in this community will have a cataract operation this week, thanks to special need funds sent to the subproject.

We then divided into three groups and visited families. My group visited DoÒa Paulina, her three sons and one daughter. The oldest boy, Hector, 19, works among the rubber trees making about $216 per month. The father died 12 years ago. Paulina struggled to raise the children on her own by cutting sugar cane with a machete. She now suffers from a stomach ulcer. To complete this full day, we stopped to visit DoÒa Josefina, a widow who received a new home through the CFCA housing program. This community insisted we take fruit and two live chickens back to San Lucas. Continue reading

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