A dad's dream
July 1, 2013
On the crest of a Guatemalan mountain sprawls Chichicastenango, an indigenous community well-known for its market days. Tourists flock to the town's colorful market, where anything from live animals to handicrafts to fresh fruits and vegetables are found.
The cobblestone streets in front of the local church add to the town's character. Traveling the narrow road that curves around the mountains to Chichicastenango, however, can make for a harrowing journey.
Pedro, second from the right, with his wife Juana, third from the right,
and their children in the traditional attire of the K'iche' people.
It's within this community that Pedro, father of two CFCA sponsored children, stands in front of his modest, adobe home. He is wearing the clothing unique to the K'iche', an indigenous Mayan group that makes up much of Chichicastenango.
Pedro is a peaceful man, a man of faith. His faith has led him through many of life's trials, but it has also helped him find joy, like the first time he glimpsed Juana, his wife of 22 years, and mother of their six children.
"I saw this woman while at church," Pedro said. "She was beautiful, and so I said, 'Lord, let this be for me.'"
His prayer was answered when they first became friends, followed by two years of dating before getting married.
Prayer comes easily to Pedro. Faith and spirituality define the K'iche' as a people, Pedro said.
Many of the K'iche' people from this particular community have Christian roots. They incorporate their own cultural Mayan rituals into their worship. Many use different elements such as flowers, which are gifts for the Lord, and candles of different colors during prayer.
"The most important thing for the K'iche' people is God," said Tomas Ventura, one of the K'iche' community leaders. "We, the K'iche' people, have two key values: love and respect. Our elders have taught us that we are all children of God; we have no differences among us as humans."
Pedro outside his home in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.
Before his children were sponsored through CFCA, Pedro said he and his family were in a dark situation. Feeding six children was a struggle, and educating all of them was financially impossible. Their two-room house had flimsy walls made of dried cornstalks.
"My oldest children would go to school without any food in their stomach or a cent in their pocket," Pedro said. "I felt defeated."
So, 10 years ago, Pedro entered the CFCA office near his community looking for help. Within three months, two of his children, son Ediberto and daughter Delsy, were sponsored through the Hope for a Family program.
Pedro does not feel defeated now. Today he has hope — for his family, for his children's education and for their future.
"Sponsorship has enabled me to dream," Pedro said. "I am proud that all of my children are now in school; my oldest two will both graduate as teachers next year! I praise God for this because he has made this possible."