Chixocol, where your child lives, is a very small village nestled in a mountain valley in the state of Quiche, Guatemala. Life in this state is very difficult and somewhat isolated from the outside world. Most families live in one-room adobe houses with dirt floors and a small, attached kitchen. The extremely poor live in houses made of corn stalks. In the past few years electricity and water has become available to most people in the area - however, indoor plumbing is very rare. Most of the families are farmers or shepherds and live off the fruits of their labors. Public education is available for those who can afford it and consider it of value. Life in Quiche is always a challenge.
I affectionately greet you and hope you are doing well! My name is Jose Elias Simaj Toj. I am 6 years old. I was born on May 10, 2016. I have a total of three siblings; two of them are brothers and the other one is my sister. I am not in school. My mother and father live with me. My father works as an assistant mason and sometimes goes to the coast to harvest sugar cane. He takes care of my family’s needs. My mother is a housewife and weaves typical clothing to help economically. I live in a village in the mountains called Chixocol. My house is very close to the feeding center. The house is my parents’ property, and it is made of adobe, the roof is made of tin sheet, and the floor is made of concrete. There is one room and a separate kitchen. My health is complicated. Ever since I was born, the doctors told my family that I was born with disabilities. They said I had problems with my heart, too. From a young age, I had seizures. My family has done their best to find help for me, but due to a lack of resources there was not much they could do for me. My parents bought me vitamins instead, which helped with the seizures. They do not happen as much as before. To mobilize myself, I have to drag myself; and to eat, my mother hand feeds me because my left hand is completely immobilized. I use diapers since I have difficulty going to the bathroom. My mother and sister take turns carrying me when we go to church or to see a doctor. My sister also goes out to bring food. Additionally, my mother cannot hear or see well, and she does not talk. I attend a Pentecostal Church. I end my letter wishing you the best! The evangelism team is doing phone calls in Quiche to obtain the information. They received my information from my mother.
With lots of love,
Jose Elias Simaj Toj
Translated by: Kalyan Marroquin / Missionary Intern