Pasojoc III, where your child lives, is located in an extremely remote area of the mountains in Quiche, Guatemala. Life in this area is very difficult and very isolated from the outside world. It is a 3-hour walk to the nearest market town. The people who inhabit the area are Quiche Indians who can trace their ancestral roots to the ancient Mayan civilization. They normally speak an Indian dialect called Quiche, however, Spanish is becoming more common. The climate is basically warm, but it can get very cold at night. Houses in this area are typically constructed of adobe with tin sheet or tile roofs and dirt floors. Pasojoc III is an area rich with natural resources. It is a farming area where the inhabitants grow staples such as corn, beans and other types of vegetables. Many families also raise domestic animals such as sheep, goats, cows and chickens. Many of the families travel to the coast for several months each year to find work cutting cane or coffee. Sadly, many of the children do not go to school because of lack of economic resources and because of the sheer distance they would have to walk to reach school. As a result, the majority of the people are unable to read or write. Many of the teenagers leave home at an early age to search for employment in other areas in Guatemala.
Hello! My name is Maria Isabel Luis Riz. I was born on November 7, 2004 and I am 14 years old. I am in good health and I attend the feeding program at Pasojoc III. My father’s name is Victor, and he is a farmer and a day laborer. My mother’s name is Catarina and she is a housewife. My family travels to the coast for two months each year to work during the coffee harvest. We own the house in which we live. It has walls made of plasterboard with a tin room and a dirt floor. We have electricity, but we do not have running water. We get our water from a nearby creek with a hose. I have three brothers and one sister, and I walk to the feeding program with my siblings and my cousins. I am in the 6th grade this year, and when I am not in school, I enjoy playing soccer. My favorite color is pink, and my favorite animal is the rabbit. The foods that I like to eat the most are tortillas with cheese. Currently, my family does not attend any Church.
With much love and many blessings,
Maria Isabel Luis Riz
Translated by: Edwina Lyons/AAC Missionary