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 Heidy Maribel de Leon Garcia. I was born on April 8, 2013 and I am six years old. I am basically a healthy child. I have two brothers and two sisters. Two of my siblings also attend the feeding program and we have to walk about one hour to get to the program here in Pasojoc III. We have to walk 2 ½ hours to get to the program at Pasojoc I. My father’s name is Eduardo and he works as a day laborer doing whatever type of work he can find. He also travels to the coast to work during the coffee harvest. My mother’s name is Andrea and she is a housewife. She also has some domestic animals that she raises. We live in the house with my grandparents and we share the expenses with them. The house has two rooms and a separate kitchen. It is made of adobe with a tin roof and a dirt floor. We have water, but we do not have electricity. We use candles for lighting. We have hens, pigs, sheep, dogs and cats. I do not go to school yet, so I spend my time playing with my dolls and ball. My favorite color is pink and my favorite animal is the cat. The foods that I like best are watermelon and fried chicken. Currently, my family does not attend church.
With much love and many blessings,
Heidy Maribel de Leon Garcia
Translated by: Edwina Lyons/AAC Missionary