Nueva Esperanza, which means New Hope, is located in a slum area of Guatemala City, Guatemala. An extremely poor area, our program is squeezed in among the shanty dwellings built over an old city dump. Many houses in this area are without toilets or running water and are assembled with scrap wood, sheet metal, and cardboard. Zone 5, where Nueva Esperanza is located, is considered one of the most dangerous areas of Guatemala City. It is controlled by gangs and drug pushers. Robberies and murders are common in this area. Public education is available - however, many cannot afford it. Life in Zone 5 is very difficult. This child lives on top of an old rubbish dump in Zone 5 of Guatemala City. It is an extremely dangerous area where criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts live. Hello! It is a blessing for me to tell you about my life by means of this letter. I hope you are doing well along with your loved ones. My name is Melanie Johana and I am 12 years old. I was born in Guatemala City on April 24th, 2009. Thankfully, I am in my last elementary school year. My favorite hobbies are painting and playing violin. I like all kinds of colors, but my favorites are pink and blue. My favorite animal is the dog and my favorite meal is roasted meat.
I live in a place called “El Esfuerzo” located in Zone 5, together with my parents and my brother. My mother’s name is Melanie Alvarez, and she works selling baby’s and kids' clothes in order to contribute with the expenses. My father’s name is Jonatan Palacios, and he earn a living by fixing air conditioner devices to cover our needs. We own a house which has two small rooms and a separate kitchen. This is made out of block, metal sheet roof and ceramic floor with running water and electricity. Fortunately, we live near the feeding program because I only have to walk 15 minutes to get there. I also want to tell you that I attend a church called Mount Hebron, and I am so grateful to God because my whole family and I are in good health. Finally, let me tell you that my mother assisted a member of the Evangelism team to get information about me by phone, since the staff want to protect us from Covid-19. I leave you for now, but I would like to hear about your news the next time.
Many kisses and hugs,
Melanie Johana Palacios Alvarez
Translated by Hillary Popol / AAC Secretary