Jocotenango, where your child lives, is in the state of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala and is a suburb of Antigua. It is an urban environment and is inhabited by both Quiché Indians and Ladinos (those with mixed European ancestry). Most of the children attend school, but financial hardship affects many families and forces most of the children to leave after the sixth grade. Only two out of ten children finishes high school. Children in this area face temptations from gangs and drugs.
Hello, my name is Cristian Emanuel Vasquez Machan. I was born on May 28, 2006 and I am 12 years old. I am in good health and I attend the Jocotenango feeding program. My father’s name is Gregorio Itzampop. Unfortunately, he never legally recognized me. I have never met him in person. He is actually in the United States. He abandoned our family when my mother was pregnant and he does not provide us with any financial support. My mother has three more sons, but they have a different father. My mother’s name is Lilian Rosmery Vasquez Machan. She works as a helper in a kitchen of a restaurant called “Sabores de mi tierra” (flavors of my land) located in Pastores (the town in which I live). She works from Monday to Sunday. She is the only one who contributes to our household expenses. We own our home which has one room and a separate kitchen. The house is made of plasterboard with a tin sheet roof and a concrete floor. We have water, but we do not have electricity. We use candles for light. We have 1 cat and 1 chicken. I have three brothers, and it takes us about 15 minutes by bus to get to the feeding program. I am in the fifth grade this year. In my free time, I like to play soccer and to run. My favorite color is green, and my favorite animals are dogs and cats. The food I like to eat the most is pepian (a traditional Guatemalan dish). My family attends a Church.
With much love and many blessings,
Cristian Emanuel Vasquez Machan
Translated by Edwina Lyons/Living Water Missionary