Dueñas, where your child lives, is a small farming village located at the foot of one of Guatemala’s active volcanoes, Fuego (Fire). The fertile ground around the village allows for the cultivation of roses and coffee, two of Guatemala's largest exports. Most of the families in this area live in one or two room wooden or adobe houses with tin roofs. Electricity is available to those who can afford it. Running water is available - however, most homes do not have indoor plumbing. Life in Dueñas is quiet.
Hello, my name is Isidro Ottoniel Merino Gaspar. I was born on June 10, 2006 and I am 12 years old. I am in good health. I attend the Duenas feeding program. My father’s name is Isidro Merino Valle, but unfortunately, he abandoned us when I was 4 years old. He no longer supports us financially and only calls us once in a while. My mother’s name is Margarita Gaspar Francisco. She works as a domestic employee Monday through Friday. On the weekends, she washes and irons clothes for other people to earn extra money. We live in my grandmother’s house and do not have to pay rent. My grandfather covers all the household expenses. The house is tin and cement block with a tin sheet roof and dirt floor. We have water and electricity. There are two rooms in the house. My grandfather lives in one room and we live in the other room. We have one dog named “Sasha” and one cat named “Panchita”. I walk about five minutes to get to the feeding program. I have two older brothers and one older sister. I am in the 3rd grade this year. In my spare time, I like to play ball. My favorite color is blue, and my favorite animal is the dog. The food that I like to eat the most is tortita de carne (like a hamburger patty). Currently, my family does not attend any church.
With much love and many blessings,
Isidro Ottoniel Merino Gaspar
Translated by Edwina Lyons, Living Water Missionary