Feb 4 2013

Guatemala yearns for a community with compassion

Luis Cocon, CFCA-Guatemalaa-2012By Luis Cocon, CFCA communications center liaison in Guatemala

It is painful to see my country bleed.

The bodies of two little girls, ages 6 and 12, were found on Jan. 16 dumped on a street in Guatemala City. Police said that both girls had been asphyxiated.

As I watched the evening news, I could not help but think of what these helpless children went through and the pain that their family was suffering. I was moved; our whole country was moved. These could have been our own children.

Violence has affected my life and the lives of those in my country in many ways. It has affected the way we live, play and go about our daily lives.

I remember as a child playing in my neighborhood streets for as long as I wanted, even after street lights came on. My children cannot enjoy that kind of freedom. Read more

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Sep 6 2012

CFCA helps youth in El Salvador fight gang pressure

In some parts of El Salvador, crime is a big problem. Gangs try to convince youth that crime can provide a better life with little effort.

CFCA scholars and sponsored youth in El Salvador

Cristian, center, is a youth sponsored through CFCA in El Salvador. On his right is Luis, a CFCA scholar, playing the guitar.

We recently talked with Yesenia Alfaro, CFCA project coordinator in Santa Ana, who said the moral support of sponsorship is helping youth resist the lure of crime and gangs.

What are the challenges that youth in El Salvador face?

They live with discouragement, with an education system that is not the best.

If they can succeed in school or in high school, the percentage of college graduates is very low. Even if they finish college, the employment opportunities are minimal.

Keeping young people motivated requires hard work and effort, because they have all these situations. In a numerous family, the oldest sibling often has to sacrifice their education.

Single mothers have to raise their children as a mother and as a father. This is also one of the difficulties that young people have, in that there is no father figure in many homes.

I believe the hardest part is that young people are constantly invited to be part of a gang and are vulnerable because they have so many needs and few options.

The gang members say to young people, “You can’t earn in the decent way, but there is an easy way to earn money. You’ll have everything easily and faster.”

Sometimes the youth believe them and join the gang. But sometimes they don’t want to get involved, and then gangs try to hurt them or their family members.

Do you know a story of a youth involved with gangs? Read more

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Jul 5 2010

For the strength of the Salvadoran spirit

El Salvador

Tensions continue to rise as the daily violence in El Salvador grows ever more dangerous.

On June 20, that violence impacted the CFCA community when two mass transit buses were attacked. One sponsored child was injured. Her sister and the father of two other sponsored children were killed.

??”The critical condition of the country is creating a tremendous amount of anxiety among the people,” Henry Flores, director of the communication center in El Salvador, said. “In spite of this reality, the spirit of the sponsored families and staff stays strong.”

Please pray
Heavenly Father, we pray for the protection of the Salvadoran people and all those who live in areas of great tension and conflict. Look with compassion upon them as they face violence and injustice, and heal those who have endured harm. Help all of us to learn peaceful ways of solving our earthly problems. Teach us to work toward a more just world. Amen.?

Blessings,
CFCA Prayer Team

Read more about the June attacks on our website.

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