Sunday, March 24, 2013

Things are heating up in Guatemala!

Things are heating up here in Guatemala for Semana Santa!
School finished on Friday for most children...our pre schools are still open till Wednesday afternoon.
Colorful carpets made of sawdust, flowers and vegetables are already appearing on the streets ....parades from the big Catholic church are now happening every day.
There are tourists coming into town....which is a great boost for the local  economy here.
We will begin to give out the Semana Santa baskets on Tuesday morning.  Right now we have less than 300.
There is still time to get your orders in!
This of our  sponsored students who is in our orphan program has opened his own bakery.
We are purchasing all the sweet bread from him ...he will be working very hard with his brothers and sisters to make the bread.
So your purchase of a Semana Santa basket will not only be helping the family who receives it but also Gerber and his family.
Gerber is now 24 years old. 
He has been working in a bakery since he was 10 years old.
His father left the family.
His mother died of cancer about four years ago now.
He is the eldest boy of six siblings.  The eldest girl is married and lives in another town.
But the other five have lived with Gerber and he, together with his sister, Glendy have brought up the other siblings.
Glendy got married last year but she still spends most of her time with her brothers.
She works at Mayan Families and when she finishes work at 5p.m. she goes to her brothers home, cooks dinner for them ( and her husband ) and then finally goes back to her own home around 10p.m,.  On the week ends she is mostly at her brothers home. She washes the clothes for the siblings, makes sure that they are doing their homework etc.
But Gerber's dream has now come true. He has opened his own bakery.
This was done from the $1,500 US that Gerber has saved from working over the past 14 years.....and a $5,000 loan that he received from a group through Mayan Families. 
He has built a huge oven and a small store front....nothing fancy but it is the start of big dreams.
Now all the siblings will be working with him producing the sweet bread that we need for the Semana Santa baskets this year!
We are very proud of Gerber and all he has done to make his dreams come true for him and his siblings.
Gerber not only worked during this time but he also went to school and received a degree in Business Administration.
During this time, he not only endured the passing of his mother but also three years before that his two other siblings passed away.
Then the family lost a huge portion of their land to the flood from Hurricane Agatha....and their house was uninhabitable. 
We hope the Semana Santa orders that Gerber will receive will be the start of new and very happy chapter in his life!

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